Asbestos Testing Services

The term “Asbestos” defines a group of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals found in certain types of rock formations. Of that general group, the minerals Chrysotile, Amosite, and Crocidolite have been most commonly used in building products. When mined and processed, asbestos is typically separated into very thin fibers. When these fibers are present in the air, they are normally invisible to the naked eye. Asbestos fibers are commonly mixed during processing with a material that binds them together so that they can be used in many different products. Because these fibers are so small and light, they may remain in the air for many hours if they are released from ACM (Asbestos Containing Material) in a building. Asbestos became a popular commercial product because it is strong, it will not burn, is resists corrosion, it is an excellent insulator, and it has very good hydrophobic properties (nearly waterproof). In the USA, commercial production of ACM began in the early 1900’s and peaked in the period from World War II era to the 1970’s. Under the Clean Air Act of 1970, the EPA has been regulating many asbestos containing materials which, be EPA definition, are materials with more than 1.0% asbestos content by weight (gravimetrically measured). While the widespread manufacture and use of ACM is limited and only a small fraction of what it once was, it is estimated that over 700,000 homes and commercial structures still contain ACM and a survey of materials scheduled for demolition is required for homes built prior to 1981 and for all commercial buildings, regardless of build year.

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Building surveys are performed by defining homogeneous groups of suspected and presumed ACM, and then applying bulk sampling rules to the material groups throughout the functional spaces that are included in the proposed scope of work. A building survey should include information about the suspect materials including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • Material Description
  • Friability
  • Location
  • Quantity
  • Damage
  • Disturbance

This information helps Project Designers and Management Planners build a scope of work to safely and completely removed ACM from an affected area. More information provided by the building survey equates to a more complete and comprehensive removal and/or encapsulation plan. The survey is the first step in the identification and abatement process, and it is arguably the most important. Without a survey performed by a licensed, qualified, and experienced building inspector, your project can experience delays, setbacks, increased costs for additional bulk sampling and inspection, and in some cases fines for mishandling ACM or improper disposal of ACM resulting from a poorly performed survey.

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