If you think there may be asbestos in your home or business the only way to be sure is to get a sample of the suspect material analysed.
Whenever you work with asbestos products you need to take care and be continually aware of the health and safety issues. Although we recommend getting a professional in to take samples, we understand that the extra cost for someone to visit your premises can be prohibitive. This page includes information to help you follow the correct sampling process when you’re taking samples yourself.
But before you do any sampling, it’s really important to understand what type of asbestos is present.
Asbestos products are broadly grouped into two categories: Friable and Non Friable.
Friable when dry –
(a) may be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure;
(b) as a result of a work process becomes such that it may be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure;
Non Friable when dry can not –
(a) be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to powder by hand pressure
While non-friable products can be sampled reasonably safely, friable products can easily generate airborne fibres, therefore putting you at greater risk of exposure.
We strongly recommend that you get a professional in to sample friable products.
When sampling non-friable (bonded) products:
- Regardless of any other safety precautions, the aim is to minimise the generation of airborne fibres. DO NOT USE POWER TOOLS
- Wear a respirator and make sure it is fitted correctly.
- It should be a minimum P2 rating (check this when you buy your equipment).
- Disposable is OK as long as it fits properly.
- There should be no gaps between your face and the edges of the mask.
- For all samples you should try to make sure the full thickness of the material is sampled.
- Dampen the material to be sampled and break off a portion:
- For cement sheet products – about the size of a 20 cent piece
- For vinyl tile/sheet – about half the size of your palm.
- Place the sample into a sealable container such as a plastic sample jar or a zip-lock sandwich bag
- Label the container with sample details. We need to know:
- the address that the sample was taken from
- general area/room and
- specific location
- For example, 14 My Street, Mytown, Bathroom, sink splashback tile underlay.
- If you are taking multiple samples, each one should be in its own sealed container to prevent cross-contamination and a possible incorrect analysis result. Also make sure your tools are cleaned after each sample to prevent contamination.
- Place the sealed container into another zip-lock bag (ie the sample is now double wrapped)
- After completing the sampling, you should seal the edges from where you took the sample with PVA glue to prevent the release of airborne fibres.
- Download and complete our sample registration form
See an example of a completed asbestos sample form
- Put the form and samples with payment in a sturdy post bag and send it to our asbestos laboratory in Moe:
Mairin OHS&E Consulting Pty Ltd
18-20 Kirk Street
Moe Vic 3825
Our normal cost for analysis of standard non-friable building materials is $55 per sample including GST.
If you need a result in a hurry and must have a result within 24 hours, the cost is $82.50 including GST.
If you have friable or non-standard materials you wish to have tested, please call us to discuss costs and analysis timeframes.
Once the samples are received, our staff will process and analyse them and send you a Certificate of Analysis along with an invoice for account holders. For non-account holders payment will be required prior to release of the certificate. One of our staff will contact you to arrange payment.