Airborne Asbestos Monitoring
Air monitoring involves sampling airborne asbestos fibres to assist in assessing exposure to asbestos and the effectiveness of any 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)].
When is Airborne Asbestos Monitoring Required?
Airborne Asbestos Monitoring requirements will vary depending on the type of asbestos being removed, the location and position of the asbestos materials, if an enclosure is used during the removal works and whether the asbestos removal work is located within an enclosed building or outside.
Friable asbestos removal – Air monitoring is mandatory for all stages of the friable asbestos removal works. This includes during the removal, during the enclosure dismantling and while undertaking the friable clearance inspection.
More than 10m2 of non-friable asbestos removal – Air monitoring is not required but is recommended to be carried out by an independent licensed asbestos assessor or competent person to ensure compliance with the duty of care 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 works are being undertaken in or next to a public location to ensure that no asbestos fibres leave the removal area and pedestrians are not put at risk during the removal works.
Exposure air monitoring – Air monitoring may 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 that it is necessary. Since most uses of asbestos are prohibited, exposure monitoring should not be frequently required.
As per the codes of practice – how to remove asbestos safely How to Safely Remove Asbestos Code of Practice [PDF]
Airborne asbestos monitoring is undertaken to assure the asbestos removal is being done safely, ensuring no asbestos contamination is spreading outside of the work area during the asbestos removal. Monitoring following removal works (clearance monitoring) is to ensure the area is safe to reoccupy without the need for protective equipment following the removal works. Airborne asbestos monitoring not only helps secure your peace of mind but also that of your neighbours, especially if legal action was to occur down the line.
How much does an asbestos air test cost?
The cost of asbestos air monitoring in Sydney will vary depending on a number of critical factors, such as the size and nature of your property or worksite, and whether the area to be tested is inside or outside.
For homeowners, investing in asbestos air monitoring can give you peace of mind that your family are not at risk of the health issues associated with asbestos exposure.
For those in the construction industry, the risk of asbestos exposure via airborne fibres is even higher. It’s been estimated that 1.3 million people working in trades are exposed to asbestos every year.
So, regardless of the price, it’s a vital investment to make and an extremely small price to pay to avoid lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other unwanted conditions. Remember, those that have been exposed to asbestos do not usually exhibit symptoms of these diseases for about 20 or 30 years.
Pay for an asbestos air monitoring service today, or pay with your health further down the track. We think we know which choice you’ll make. Get in touch with our team today to secure a personalised quote.
How is asbestos measured?
Asbestos air monitoring NSW is a technical process that requires specialist equipment and expertise.
Precisely how asbestos is measured depends, again, on the size, nature, and location (inside or outside) of your home, business, or worksite. Generally, a set volume of air is drawn through a filter over a specific area of time. As the air is drawn through, airborne asbestos particles are collected on the filter. The filter is then prepped and examined under a strong microscope to identify and determine the exact size of the fibres.
From this filter, our expert team has the information they need to calculate the fibre concentration in an area. It’s worth noting that only fibres that fall within a certain size limit (respirable asbestos fibres) are counted. Fibre concentration is shown as fibres per cubic centimetre of air – or fibres/cm3.
As you can see, measuring airborne asbestos is not something that you can do yourself. Instead, extensive experience and state-of-the-art equipment are necessary to achieve an accurate and reliable reading. That’s why it’s vital to work with a team of environmental consultants.
Here at EnviroX, we carry out asbestos air monitoring Sydney to the highest industry standards, so you can rest easy knowing your home or workplace is safe.
Can air travel with asbestos?
Yes. Small diameter fibres and fibre-containing particles that are airborne can be carried long distances via the wind before they settle. What’s more, once settled, asbestos fibres tend to remain unchanged over extremely long periods of time, meaning they still pose a threat to human health. It’s critical that, when embarking on renovation and construction projects, you invest in quality asbestos air monitoring.
Asbestos particles that are extremely light, as we mentioned above, can travel through the air and remain airborne for some time. This means we are all exposed to low levels of asbestos in the air we breathe on a day-to-day basis. The good news is, ambient or background air contains such a low level of asbestos fibres (10 to 200 fibres in every 1,000 litres of air), that it’s highly unlikely we will become ill from the exposure.
The majority of people who do suffer from asbestos-related diseases have worked on projects that forced them to inhale large quantities of asbestos on a regular basis. Incredibly, before the full extent of asbestos’s dangers became known, construction workers inhaled up to 1 million times the background concentration of asbestos fibres.
The likelihood of asbestos travelling through the air is high. For the safety of you, your family, your staff, and even the general public, invest in a quality asbestos air monitoring service.
How long do asbestos fibres remain in the air?
Asbestos fibres remain in the air for as long as 48 to 72 hours. This is due to their lightweight and their almost fluffy, snowflake-like shape. During this time, fibres can travel through the air before settling, and once settled, fibres will remain virtually unchanged for years.
Heavier or larger fibres will not remain airborne for quite so long. Instead, they will settle on the floor much faster, sometimes in a matter of minutes or hours.
Small, airborne asbestos fibres are the most dangerous. They form when larger asbestos sheets or other asbestos-containing materials are disturbed or broken up, such as during a renovation.
If you are working on a construction or renovation, and you’ve identified asbestos-containing materials, please get in contact as soon as possible. We can measure the concentration of asbestos fibres in the air and determine whether or not the worksite is safe.
Get in touch with our team today and keep your home, business, or worksite safe for all.