Air monitoring involves sampling airborne asbestos fibres to assist in assessing exposure to asbestos and the effectiveness of implemented control measures. It must be conducted in accordance with the Guidance Note on the Membrane Filter Method for Estimating Airborne Asbestos Dust, 2nd Edition [NOHSC: 3003 (2005)].
Air monitoring requirements will vary depending on the type of asbestos being removed, the location and position of the asbestos, if an enclosure is used and whether the asbestos removal work is within a building or outside. „
Friable asbestos removal – Air monitoring is mandatory for all friable asbestos removal. This includes prior to dismantling an enclosure and for the purposes of the clearance inspection. „
More than 10 m2 of non-friable asbestos removal – Air monitoring is not required but may be considered to be carried out by an independent licensed asbestos assessor or competent person to ensure compliance with the duty to eliminate or minimise exposure to airborne asbestos and to ensure the exposure standard is not exceeded. „
Public Location – Air monitoring should be considered where the asbestos removal work is being undertaken in or next to a public location. „
Exposure air monitoring – Air monitoring should be carried out at other times to determine a worker’s exposure to airborne asbestos if, based on reasonable grounds, there is uncertainty as to whether the exposure standard may be exceeded and a risk assessment by a competent person indicates it is necessary. Since most uses of asbestos are prohibited, exposure monitoring should not be required frequently
As per the codes of practice – how to remove asbestos safely How to Safely Remove Asbestos Code of Practice [PDF]
Asbestos air monitoring is use to assure the asbestos removal is being done safely ensuring no asbestos contamination is spreading outside of the work area during the asbestos removal. Asbestos air monitoring following removal works (clearance monitoring) is to ensure the area is safe to reoccupy following the removal works.