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Asbestos Testing by Safe Environments

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Asbestos Testing by Safe Environments makes it easy to identify, assess and control asbestos related health hazards within the built environment.  

Asbestos is a naturally occurring material and there are three common types of asbestos that are used within the building and construction industry in Australia. These include:

  • Chyrsotile  (white asbestos)
  • Amosite (brown asbestos)  
  • Crocidolite (blue asbestos)  
The NSW OHS regulation requires that all buildings suspected of containing asbestos materials must have an asbestos register and generally includes asbestos testing. The most common types of asbestos testing include:

  • Testing if asbestos is present within a material
  • Testing the amount of asbestos fibres in the air  
To determine if asbestos is present in a material to a building, asbestos testing takes place by a consultant taking a sample during a survey and then analysing the material in a laboratory. The asbestos testing is then carried out in accordance with Australian Standard AS 4964, Method for the qualitative identification of asbestos in bulk sample. This testing involves viewing the fibres under a polarised light microscope under different conditions to confirm the type of asbestos if present.

The results of asbestos testing are documented within an asbestos register which includes a risk assessment of the potential asbestos exposure. If there is significant disintegration of asbestos materials that pose a risk, testing asbestos in the air should be conducted. This will determine the amount of asbestos fibres that a person is likely to be exposed. 

Asbestos testing the air is conducted in accordance with Guidance Note on the Membrane Filter Method for Estimating Airborne Asbestos Fibres Edition. Asbestos air testing measures the number of fibres that are caught in filter paper as air is sampled by an air pump. Results of testing are not immediate as the filters are viewed under a phase contrast microscope where only respirable asbestos fibres that meet a prescribed geometry are counted.

Testing asbestos in the air is also carried out when asbestos containing material is removed to establish the effectiveness of the implemented control measures, confirming the potential risk of exposure.

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