How to Test for Asbestos

how to test for asbestos

The dangers of asbestos are well documented. Inhaling this material may lead to serious respiratory illnesses such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is fire resistant and acts as an electrical insulator  Many countries have banned the use of asbestos, however, the United States is not one of them. Therefore, if you suspect asbestos is present in your home or workplace find out for sure. Learn how to test for asbestos then take action based on the results.

Asbestos particles are too small to detect with the naked eye. This substance was used in construction for most of the 20th century although its use declined greatly in the 1980s. While many homeowners may believe that the cost of these tests is high, DIY test kits are affordable and simple to use. The process entails purchasing a kit, collecting a sample, then mailing it into an accredited environmental lab for results.

Learn How to Test for Asbestos

Asbestos was used in the construction of vinyl tiles as well as in concrete and insulation. It only poses a danger when it’s disturbed. When a person inhales asbestos dust it can cause scarring as well as lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses. If you’re planning on remodeling your home, it’s important to know how to test for asbestos.  

When collecting samples for a DIY testing kit it is necessary to take precautions. Read these tips on the safe way to test for asbestos in your home or workplace.

How to Test for Asbestos Safely

To prevent dust from spreading as you collect the sample spray down the area with a mix of liquid dishwashing detergent and water—about one teaspoon per pint. You’ll also need a utility knife, plastic sheeting, wet wipes, packing tape, and garbage bags. It’s also important to repaint the area from where you obtain the sample.

Step 1: Do Not Disturb Testing Area

Close all windows and doors in the testing area. Make sure fans and HVAC systems are off as well as any window air conditioning unit or portable heaters.

Step 2: Wear Disposable Protective Gear

It’s important to protect yourself from asbestos so wear disposable face makes, coveralls, gloves, and shoe covers. Dispose of these items once testing is over. Make sure no one else in the home or office enters the room during testing.

Step 3: Lay Down Plastic Sheeting

Cover the floor around the testing area with plastic sheeting to collect dust. Spray the covering with water so the dust settles on the surface more easily.

Step 4: Isolating the Sample is Key in How to Test for Asbestos

Use a utility knife to remove the sample. Depending on the test, you may be required to remove a sample of up to ¼ lb. Use the spray to mist the area to prevent any dust from rising into the air. Remove the sample using pliers and place it in the collection bag.

Step 5: Seal the Bag

Seal the bag and fill out any test for asbestos information required including the date of collection. 

Step 6: Clean and Vacuum Testing Area

After you’ve collected the sample, mist the area a final time then vacuum the area thoroughly. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag afterward or tap out the canister of bagless vacuums into a garbage bag then dispose of it. Wipe the vacuum down with a moist rag and dispose of the rag as well. Paint over the area you took the sample from. Dispose of the paintbrush.

Step 7: Dispose of Protective Gear and Dispose

Remove facemask, gloves, and clothing and throw them in the trash bag. Tape the trash bag closed and dispose of it directly in the trash. As well, dispose of the plastic sheeting.

Step 8: Send in the Sample

Mail the sample into the EPA-certified laboratory for testing. 

At Home Air Quality Test
Available test kits detect asbestos, mold, fiberglass, and more.

Additional Test Kits and Air Cleaning Equipment

Knowing how to test for asbestos keeps you and other building occupants safe. Test kits are available for other harmful chemicals and allergens as well. Test for dust, mold, fiberglass, volatile organic compounds, and more. Clean the air inside your home with air purifiers using bipolar ionization. Keep HVAC systems in top working order and you’ll improve indoor air quality so you can breathe better and stay healthy. It’s also a good idea to have the indoor air quality tested inside your home or office. Choosing the right testing company is the key to getting the best results.

Learn More About How to Test for Asbestos

Don’t risk exposing yourself to asbestos. Learn how to test for asbestos with a DIY test kit and keep your home and workplace safe. To learn more, call 727-572-4550.