The Danger in Our Walls: The Need for Asbestos Testing

Asbestos is a mineral that was commonly used in construction materials before the 1980s due to its excellent insulating and fireproofing properties. Despite its usefulness, asbestos is now known to be extremely hazardous with prolonged exposure causing lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. If you are buying or renovating an older building, it is essential to get an asbestos test done before starting construction work. In this article, we outline everything you need to know about asbestos testing.

What Is Asbestos Testing?

Asbestos testing involves taking samples of suspected asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) and analyzing them in a laboratory. The process identifies the type and amount of asbestos present and determines whether the material poses a risk to human health. The analysis is usually conducted using a polarizing light microscope (PLM) or transmission electron microscope (TEM). If asbestos fibers are found, the material is classified as friable or non-friable. Friable ACMs can easily release fibers into the air and pose a greater risk to human health.

Why Do You Need Asbestos Testing?

If you suspect that your home or office contains asbestos, it is imperative to have an asbestos test done. Asbestos fibers can easily become airborne during renovation or demolition work, and when inhaled, they can cause severe respiratory problems. Asbestos was widely used in construction materials, such as insulation, flooring tiles, roofing, pipes, and cement, before the 1980s. Homes and buildings constructed before this period have a higher likelihood of containing asbestos. Therefore, if you are buying or renovating an older building, it is essential to have an asbestos test done before starting construction work.

How is Asbestos Testing Done?

Asbestos testing is done by a certified professional who carries out a visual inspection of your home or building to locate potential sources of asbestos. The professional will then take samples of the suspect materials and seal them in a container for analysis. The samples are then transported to an accredited laboratory, where they are tested for the presence of asbestos fibers. The laboratory will provide a report that details the type and amount of asbestos found.

How Much Does Asbestos Testing Cost?

Asbestos testing costs can vary widely, depending on the size of your home or building and the number of samples required. Typically, testing is invoiced on a per-sample basis, with the cost ranging from $50 to $200 per sample. Larger projects, such as commercial properties or industrial sites, are more expensive to test due to the potential for multiple ACMs.

What Happens After Asbestos Testing?

If asbestos is found in your building after testing, it is essential to take action to reduce exposure to the hazardous mineral. Depending on the results of the asbestos test, you may need to have the material removed or encapsulated. Asbestos removal is a dangerous and regulated process that must be conducted by a trained professional. It’s essential to consult with asbestos professionals to determine the best course of action if ACMs are identified in your building.

Conclusion:

Asbestos is a hazardous mineral that can cause severe respiratory problems, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. If you are buying or renovating an older building, it is essential to have an asbestos test done before starting construction work. Asbestos testing involves taking samples of suspected ACMs and analyzing them in a laboratory to determine whether the material poses a risk to human health. If asbestos is found in your building after testing, it’s important to take action to reduce exposure to the hazardous mineral. Consult with asbestos professionals to determine the best course of action if ACMs are identified in your building.

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