Asbestos is made of long and thin fibers which look similar to fiber glass. These fibers keep breaking down into smaller and smaller particles and look like tiny spears capable of causing a lot of damage to the lungs, through abrasion or to the fluid filled outer lining called mesothelium.
Asbestos testing and sampling is hence a very important part of the survey. Asbestos testing is usually done to estimate the location of the materials containing asbestos in a construction. Asbestos testing will also provide insight on whether encapsulation is a safe and possible procedure or whether one should go for total demolition of the structure.
Asbestos testing should be done in the insulation, pipe linings as well as in the flooring. In fact, asbestos testing should be done when you are buying an older structure, because it will affect your cost of renovation or refurbishment.
The first phase of asbestos testing can be through the help of professionals like electricians and plumbers who can identify the substances using asbestos. However, complete and comprehensive asbestos testing and sampling can only be carried out in the laboratories.
Certified professionals and some paperwork are required for asbestos testing. More importantly, the laboratory itself should be certified for compliance of inspecting equipment and staff competence.
Asbestos testing and sampling is done using the PLM technique or polarized light microscopy. To test bulk samples the laboratories should be accredited by law, something to be noted by those planning to buy property or renovate it.
Asbestos samples are usually taken by wetting a small area and cutting out a small piece of the material with the entire depth and sealing it off in a high quality sealable plastic bad.
The asbestos testing is to spot the percentage and the type of asbestos that is present in the sample and the mixtures of individual fibers of asbestos.