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Why asbestos testing is important?
Asbestos testing is a very important process, since asbestos-containing materials (ACMS) are dangerous. Asbestos is a group of fibrous metamorphic minerals of the hydrous magnesium silicate variety. Most ACM fibres are invisible to the human eye because of their size.
Asbestos testing Toowoomba works may be important before the beginning of any home improvement project. If your house was built before the 1980s, it can be assumed that there are likely fibrous products in your home. The fibrous product has been widely used in building materials in the past, and that means that older homes are likely to contain ACMs.
ACM is a fibrous material that can be used in a variety of ways. It’s been used in the past in flooring, ceiling tiles, insulation, and many others. The main danger of a fibrous material is that its fibres are so small that they can be easily inhaled. These fibres can cause a lot of damage to the body, including lung cancers.
If your home was built before 1990, you may have ACMs anywhere in your house. – The QLD government
That doesn’t mean, however, that you need to panic about it. The good thing about an ACM is that it doesn’t simply radiate danger around it. In order for fibres to pose a danger, they have to actually come into contact with you – and that usually means they’ll have to be airborne.
Airborne particles can have a dangerous effect on lungs and on the body in general, but if materials with asbestos aren’t damaged or disturbed in any way, the asbestos fibres in them won’t be able to loosen themselves and cause damage in anyone’s body.
Asbestos testing Toowoomba can tell you whether or not a material in your house contains ACMs, but it will also requires careful sampling of the material in question.
A professional can do the testing, or you can follow professional guidelines and do the testing yourself/DIY, but either way risks disturbing a small patch of ACMs, which can be harmful to your health.
If you’re already planning a home repair, renovation or demolition, and your home was built before 1990, you may want to get the material you’re using tested for fibres. You may want to go ahead as though there were fibres present without testing in the first place, for that matter; many construction crews will treat a building as though it contains ACMs if the building is old enough.
Types Of Experts to Handle Asbestos
Most companies perform a complete ACM handling process from inspection to the disposal of the waste. However, some provide only an inspection and assessment while others focus on the corrective measures alone. Ideally, using two different asbestos handling companies is advisable to eliminate any conflict. But before hiring any experts, it is best to check out the kind of services they provide.
Verification Of Experts’ Abilities
The government offers training programs where successful candidates gain a certificate or license after completion. Before any ACM handling:
- It is advisable to seek for documentation proving the hired expert is qualified.
- Confirm the documentation is up to par.
- Additionally, seeking references from people that the experts, earlier worked for, may reveal if they were satisfied with the experts’ work.
- Always ask some references how much asbestos testing Toowoomba cost to work out an estimate.
What An Expert Should Do
An expert should perform a full visual inspection that may require sampling and testing of the dangerous substance to determine its presence. The existence of fibres calls for a written assessment describing the affected areas and the damage level.
The expert should also provide the appropriate corrective and preventive measures.
He will ensure there are regular checks on the affected site following the proper protocol. Finally, he will ensure the affected area is thoroughly cleaned presenting no dangers for future ACM problems.
Methods of Identifying Asbestos Materials
One method of identifying fibrous materials is visual inspection. But, it is not accurate unless the material is clearly labelled. The best way to identify the deadly substance is to hire a professional. He is qualified to identify the type of fibre present on the roofing, sheeting or fencing products. Also, create a plan for any asbestos removal and disposal procedure.
Another method is sampling and testing. A professional will take a part of the suspected material as a sample for a thorough analysis. This part is probably the most dangerous as there is a higher chance of inhalation. This is because the ACM has already been disturbed and the fibres released to the air.
Therefore, a professional is equipped with the appropriate gear to prevent any inhalation. That is why people are discouraged from taking their own samples. A professional will also be able to identify a bonded or non-friable material and leave it, as it was, undisturbed.
According to the regulations, here are the procedures to safely handle fibrous materials:
- Always wear protective gear before handling a fibrous product.
- Sampling and testing are carried out without people present in the room.
- Try as much as possible not to disturb ACMs. Only take the required sample for testing.
- Eliminate any systems for air conditioning or heating to prevent further contamination in the atmosphere.
- Put a sheet (plastic) on the floor for sampling and testing and wet the material to prevent any dust and fibres from contaminating the air.
- The sample should be carefully cut and placed in a container with a tight seal.
- Properly dispose of the sheet and wipe the outer part of the sealed container with a damp towel.
- Label the sealed container and apply a duct tape on the area with the disturbed ACMs. This will help prevent further release of dust and fibres into the air.
- Send the sample to a local, certified laboratory.
Proper identification of Fibrous Materials
Bonded or non-friable ACM is usually harmless and should remain undisturbed. Friable material, on the other hand, is very harmful and should be immediately removed or repaired. During the testing, a professional will identify the presence of fibres from a contaminated area or product. They will later provide you with a recommendation, whether it is better to just leave the material alone or if you need to repair or remove it.
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