Let’s set one thing straight first of all. Just because a house may contain asbestos doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t even enter it. Asbestos is seriously toxic and carcinogenic – but only when it is in dust form and breathed in through the lungs. This can happen through deterioration (when asbestos containing building materials break down), when it is broken by accident, or when a renovation or remodeling of an old house occurs and no testing for asbestos has been done.
Many online sites tout kits and steps for testing for asbestos yourself. Ask yourself this – if you are not a doctor, would you conduct an appendectomy on yourself or a loved one? Same for asbestos testing. If you are not trained and certified to be an asbestos tester, leave it to the professional. For almost a hundred years, asbestos was used by the building industry before people became fully aware of its health hazards. Thus, the material you may have dismissed in your do-it-yourself test may contain asbestos and you are exposing your loved ones to this agent unknowingly.
Professional asbestos removal in Nanaimo BC such as Pro Pacific have been trained and certified to identify and obtain samples from your home in a safe way. A haphazard sampling process can introduce asbestos fibers into the air if proper steps are not taken.
There are two general procedures for asbestos testing:
- Bulk sampling – here, the testing professional will cut out a sample of the suspect material. A damping agent, usually water, is sprayed onto the area where the sample is to be taken. This is an important step, as it will prevent asbestos fibers from being released into the air. After the sample is taken, the area where the sample was removed is patched or encapsulated to prevent fibers from being released and becoming airborne. Finally, the sample is taken to an accredited laboratory for testing.
- Air sampling – this procedure is followed when it is suspected that asbestos fibers are already in the air, such as in an accidental breakage, or an unsupervised demolition. Air in the affected area is pumped through a fine membrane filter. The particles trapped in the membrane are then sent to a laboratory or testing.
As you can see, testing for asbestos in Nanaimo BC is not a simple process, and only a certified professional will be able to lift samples that will not present a health hazard to you and your loved ones