WHAT IS ASBESTOS TESTING AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
Asbestos is known to be present in thousands of building materials; including roofing, insulation material, and wall lining. If asbestos based materials are unknowingly or unlawfully removed, damaged in such a way that it releases asbestos fibre, anyone who inhales it can be seriously and irreversibly affected. Speculation as to whether or not a material has asbestos contained within it, without testing it, is a very dangerous gamble. Asbestex can alleviate those doubts with accredited asbestos testing services anywhere in Sydney. Asbestex strictly engages and endorses the use of NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) accredited laboratories on all analysis works.
THE HARD FACTS – ASBESTOS PRODUCTS were massively used in the Australian construction industry since the 1920’s. Asbestos removal contractors have been persistently removing and decommissioning relentless asbestos products since the early 1990’s. There are still mega-tonnes of asbestos products remaining in homes, buildings, machinery, energised services, vessels, trains and earth fill today. An estimated non-existence of asbestos products is said to be 2050. The more common mixture of cement and asbestos fibres – Asbestos Cement, can be found in multiple forms and were used wherever stronger materials were required. The cost for asbestos testing is relatively affordable in comparison to the dangers the material poses if one is exposed and diagnosed with a dust disease in later life. Not all older materials contain asbestos and confirmation by laboratory testing is always recommended.
ASBESTEX RECOMMENDS TESTING ANY BUILDING CONSTRUCTED PRIOR 1990 FOR THE FOLLOWING MATERIALS:
ALL ASBESTOS CEMENT PRODUCTS
The most common use of asbestos is within a cement matrix. These moulded products were used in thousands of building materials. Popular uses were wall and ceiling sheeting, corrugated roofing, gutters, down pipes, fake brick panels, chimneys, flues and vents, electrical boards, storm water pipes, tanks, fences and security safes. 1 in 3 Sydney homes contains an asbestos cement product.
ASBESTOS LOOSE-FILL ROOF INSULATION
The infamous ‘silent killer’. This product originated in the ACT with Mr Fluffy. Also now found in a number of properties in NSW. Commonly containing Amosite (brown) and Chrysotile (white) asbestos. Loose-fill asbestos insulation is generally pure crushed asbestos pumped or poured into roof voids. Contact Asbestex immediately if discovered.
ASBESTOS CONTAMINATED SOIL
Asbestos contaminated or impacted soil or fill is unfortunately very common. It may be present because buildings that contained asbestos were not demolished and disposed of properly or asbestos contaminated soil was used as land fill material. There are legal requirements that prohibit anyone supplying, storing, transporting, using & re-using asbestos-contaminated soil.
WE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO LOOK FOR AND PROVIDE NATA ACCREDITED ANALYSIS TESTING
Used as decorative texture in apartment buildings with vermiculite (popcorn ceiling), a fire retardant on steel beams, connecting pieces and steel stays. Used for it’s heat-proofing, sound-proofing and fire-retardant properties, the mixture of asbestos used for spray-on applications is extremely chalky and soft — making it an extremely high-risk substance for releasing dangerous fibres into the air.
LOOSE ASBESTOS LAGGING
Friable asbestos lagging was commonly used as an insulation based filling material used for heat or sound-proofing. It was mainly used as an insulating fibre around pipe ducts, lofts and between floors in multi-story buildings or hot water tanks. Over time, this type of insulation becomes very brittle and can become easily damaged. It is considered as friable asbestos and a Class A licensed contractor is required.
Most commonly found insulating apartment entry/fire doors, boilers, vents and pressure vessels. It may be applied in either a composite form or as preformed pipe sections. Although it may look stable, it is very fragile and easily airborne when disturbed, dropped or knocked. The danger occurs whenever this insulation is fractured or broken, and it releases the fibres.
IF YOU SUSPECT ANY MATERIAL CONTAINS ASBESTOS, PLEASE DON’T TRY TO TOUCH OR REMOVE IT YOURSELF!
ASBESTOS CLOTH, TAPES AND CORDS
This asbestos was used in heat resistant and fireproof sealing material in plumbing or electrical conduits. It’s also commonly found in roof voids, wall cavities, kilns, boilers and high-temperature installations and ventilation ducts. Cords and tapes were also used as filling materials in expansion joints.
TEXTURED COATINGS AND PAINTS
Can be found on ceilings and walls, in both commercial and domestic buildings. While asbestos textured coating and paints were phased out in the late 1980s, they can still be found in many Sydney buildings and present a high risk to do-it-yourself home renovators. The danger occurs during disturbance via renovations or demolition.
ASBESTOS FLOOR COVERINGS
Asbestos was very common in linoleum ‘lino’, vinyl tiles, paper backing of vinyl or the adhesive used to fix the floor coverings. Most commonly goes unnoticed during renovations. Popular in kitchen and dining rooms, public buildings, schools and offices, they were also commonly used in private homes. Asbestex recommends analysis testing for these products.
A Proper Plan of Action Includes Accredited Asbestos Testing
Any Asbestos-containing materials may release fibres when they are disturbed, damaged, removed improperly, repaired, cut, torn, sanded, sawed, drilled or scraped. Instead of carelessly becoming exposed, make a note of signs of wear or damage and contact the trained and certified asbestos professionals at Asbestex immediately. Our trained technicians will perform a visual inspection and careful collection of all potentially asbestos containing materials.
Proper safety precautions are our utmost priority during inspections and testing, no matter how big or small the project may be. Getting an expert & accredited lab to test your property for potentially unsafe asbestos levels is a sure-shot method of ensuring that the health of those around you is not risked in any way. Always keep in mind that breathing-in asbestos fibres is a health hazard and all types of products like corrugated roofs, spray-on insulation and asbestos gaskets all release minute fibres right into the air.
Download our Asbestos Sample Analysis Chain of Custody PDF