Asbestos was once widely used in construction, mainly for its insulating properties but also for its outstanding durability and heat resistance. We now know the health risks asbestos fibres can pose, and it is crucial to identify and manage asbestos-containing materials appropriately.
Undisturbed asbestos does not pose an immediate risk, but deterioration or damage means its fibres are more easily released into the air. Inhaling asbestos fibres can lead to asbestosis and mesothelioma, which makes proper handling paramount. Getting asbestos samples tested is the first step of the way, and in this brief guide, we will discuss when, where, and how to do it.
When Should I Get a Sample Tested?
If you or your contractor suspect the presence of asbestos-containing materials in your property, it is advisable to get a sample tested. Testing becomes particularly important when you plan to demolish or renovate your home, as it may disturb asbestos and cause more severe health risks.
By identifying the presence of asbestos, you can take appropriate measures to manage and minimise the risk of asbestos fibre release during such activities. More experienced contractors will be able to recognise materials at risk immediately, but it’s always better to be sure before hauling debris or recycling.
Who Can Do It?
Asbestos testing must be conducted by certified professionals with the expertise and equipment to handle asbestos samples safely. You should always look to work exclusively with accredited asbestos testing laboratories that adhere to national standards, as this will ultimately make your life easier.
These laboratories employ trained personnel who can perform thorough analyses and provide accurate results, following protocols set by the National Association of Testing Authorities. NATA-accredited laboratories in Australia thus guarantee proper sample collection, packaging, transportation, and analysis to ensure reliable results.
Where to Look For Guidance and Resources?
For further guidance and additional resources on asbestos testing, you should contact your local governmental organisations first. These agencies will provide meaningful information and offer recommendations on accredited asbestos laboratories you can go for.
In New South Wales, SafeWork NSW provides valuable resources on how to deal with asbestos. SafeWork promotes a productive and healthy workplace as a workplace health and safety regulator, assisting in locating accredited laboratories.
However, you should consider consulting with asbestos removal professionals, as these experts will have meaningful input for your specific issues. They often have in-depth knowledge and experience in dealing with asbestos-related materials, providing advice and assistance with testing, managing, and safely removing asbestos-containing materials.
Asbestos testing plays a crucial role in identifying and managing the presence of asbestos. It is essential to approach this process cautiously and rely on certified professionals to conduct the testing. Remember that asbestos-related regulations and guidelines may vary by location, so it is vital to consult local authorities and adhere to the regulations in your area.
Taking the necessary steps to identify and manage asbestos in your property ensures the safety and well-being of everyone involved. You can mitigate the risks associated with asbestos exposure by testing samples and following the appropriate containment, encapsulation, or removal guidelines. Prioritise safety and seek professionals to manage asbestos in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.