Understanding the Importance of Asbestos Testing in Older Buildings

Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in many construction materials during the 1900s. The material was found to be dangerous when inhaled, as it can cause lung problems, cancer, and other diseases. Over time, concerns about the health risks of asbestos have prompted regulations that require commercial and residential buildings to test for the presence of asbestos. In this blog post, we will provide you with an essential guide to asbestos testing, including the reasons why you should test your property, the different types of asbestos samples that can be taken, and the methods of testing.

Reasons Why You Should Test Your Property for Asbestos:

Testing your property for asbestos is essential for ensuring the safety of everyone who lives or works within the building. Exposure to asbestos can cause numerous health problems and diseases, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. These conditions can take years to develop and may not present themselves until the damage is already done. Testing for asbestos can identify the presence of the mineral and allow for proper removal and disposal, reducing the risks of exposure and related health problems.

Types of Asbestos Samples That Can Be Taken:

Several types of asbestos samples can be collected from a building. The most common methods include the collection of bulk samples, air samples, and surface samples. Bulk samples refer to any building material that is suspected of containing asbestos, such as flooring tiles or insulation. Air samples are taken to determine the amount of asbestos fibers present in the air, and surface samples are collected to detect any traces of asbestos on building surfaces.

Methods of Testing for Asbestos:

There are two primary methods of testing for asbestos – polarized light microscopy (PLM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). PLM is commonly used for the analysis of bulk samples and can identify the presence of asbestos fibers in the material. TEM is a more advanced method, requiring the use of electron microscopy to detect the presence of asbestos fibers in the air. TEM can provide more detailed information on the type and size of asbestos fibers.

Steps to Take After Asbestos Testing:

If your property tests positive for asbestos, it is important to take the necessary steps to remove and dispose of the material safely. Asbestos removal should be conducted by professionals who are trained to handle and dispose of hazardous materials. Depending on the type and amount of asbestos found, removal may involve sealing or encapsulating the material, or, in more severe cases, a complete removal and replacement of the affected areas may be necessary. Once the asbestos has been removed and disposed of safely, the property must undergo another asbestos test to confirm that all asbestos fibers have been eliminated.

Finding a Qualified Asbestos Testing Company:

Asbestos testing should only be conducted by qualified professionals who have the necessary equipment, training, and certification to carry out the job. It is important to research and choose a reputable company to ensure accurate and reliable testing results. The company should be licensed and insured, have a good track record, and provide detailed reports of the testing process and results.


Asbestos testing is an important step in ensuring the health and safety of those who live or work on a property. Identifying and removing asbestos can prevent exposure and the development of deadly diseases. By thoroughly understanding the reasons for testing, types of samples, testing methods, next steps, and finding a qualified testing company, you can ensure that your property is asbestos-free and safe for all. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to asbestos testing.