Asbestos soil testing: Identification and testing

Posted by juliabennet on April 27th, 2014

Asbestos soil testing for contaminated sites is more complex than treating a site or a building. The soil, sediment and also the surface and ground water may also become polluted with asbestos which may present a risk to human health. Also, it poses problem for the environment. Asbestos soil testing Sydney involves where the contamination may have arisen because of some human activities or it is naturally occurring in the soil. For the both the cases there are some guidelines to be followed that can keep the inhabitants safe.

Asbestos may be found in soil of any property, both residential and commercial. It may have been present in the site as the building contained asbestos and it was demolished without properly treating it or asbestos-contaminated soil was used as the top soil or filling material for the site. Asbestos soil testing Sydney experts are aware of such issues and guide the property owner for collection and subsequent removal of asbestos. Asbestos soil testing experts ensure that the collection process has been completed following the guidelines so that the site remains out off bound for people till the time any visible asbestos-containing material or ACM has been removed.

If at a later stage ACM again becomes visible in the soil it must be inspected again for asbestos soil testing. Asbestos soil testing Sydney suggests that in some cases it is more cost-effective to remove and dispose the soil instead of following the cycle of inspection and clearance processes that may otherwise be required. Not everyone is authorised to inspect or test the soil to determine the expected amount of asbestos contamination. The degree of the inspection that may be needed depends on many factors like background knowledge of the soil and also the site, the probable amount of asbestos, extent of contamination and the probable source of the contamination etc.

Asbestos soil testing Sydney experts considered asbestos in soil to be harmful only if it was present in a large quantity. But, very recently, current ideas on asbestos in soil have changed because of some recent initiatives by different industry bodies. Presence of asbestos in soil is a risk because as the soil dries and forms dust that can become airborne. It also comes in tact with shoes, dresses and vehicles and therefore is carried to other locations. It also disperses with air. This makes the asbestos soil testing process complicated.

Currently there is no Soil Guideline Value or SGV for asbestos and presence of more than 0.1 per cent is considered to be hazardous waste and above 0.001 per cent to be risky for human health. Asbestos soil testing Sydney involves gross visual screen; detailed screen using standard optical microscope (x10 - x40); Phase Contrast Optical Microscopy or PCOM; Polarised Light Microscopy or PLM; Transmission Electron Microscopy etc. Asbestos soil testing methods vary depending on the concentration of asbestos, its fibre size, extent of dispersal etc. Only accredited laboratories can take up the jobs and you should rely on their reports as they know about legally and medically safe limits. They would issue the certificates which are again legally valid and indispensible for future references.

Asbestos soil testing Sydney should be contacted immediately as asbestos soil testing is more complicated than other types of asbestos contamination.

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