Asbestos air monitoring is the last thing you might think of while trying to identify asbestos in your residential or commercial establishment. Perhaps you must be more concerned about removing the asbestos and asbestos-containing materials from your property premises. However, it’s worth noting that even after removing the asbestos or asbestos-containing materials from your property, the risks of inhaling asbestos fibers cannot be completely eliminated.
With that being the case, the importance of monitoring the air around a known source of asbestos takes a leap in the asbestos removal process. The asbestos air testing procedure involves tasks like sampling the air to assess exposure and the efficacy of your control measures. Want to know more about air monitoring around asbestos? Read till the end as here in this blog, we will cover what is asbestos air testing, what is the need for it, and what are the monitoring methods.
What is asbestos air monitoring?
Asbestos air testing or monitoring is the process of evaluating respirable asbestos fibers and the effectiveness of asbestos removal control measures implemented on property premises. Asbestos air testing is conducted during, immediately after, and upon completion of the asbestos removal procedure. Air monitoring around asbestos is the most effective way of removing materials containing friable asbestos. But, what are friable asbestos-containing materials?
Friable asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are components incorporating more than 1% of asbestos either by weight or area. Friable asbestos-containing materials can be pulverized and reduced to powder by putting pressure on the materials with hands. So, if you want to remove ACMs from your residential or commercial establishment and improve the air quality of your premises, consider investing in asbestos air monitoring!
What is the need for asbestos air testing?
You should mandatorily include air monitoring while creating your to-do list for asbestos removal. And below are the reasons why asbestos air testing is so crucial.
- Safeguards Environment: Asbestos fibers are made up of microscopic glass fibers that can become airborne even after the material is no more in use. That said, when asbestos-containing materials are disposed of into the air, they become airborne and travel to different locations. This significantly increases the risks of inhaling asbestos fibers that are hazardous to human health. So, in order to safeguard the environment and curb the disposal of ACMs during asbestos-related work or contaminated soil removal near public buildings, asbestos air testing is a must.
- Reduces Illnesses At Workplaces: A safe work environment should be your top priority when working with asbestos. So, if you want to make your business site a safe breathing zone, consider investing in asbestos air testing through workplace exposure monitoring. It will let you and your staff stay away from the risks of inhaling asbestos fibers and asbestos-related illnesses like asbestosis and mesothelioma.
- Improves Air Quality Within Home: An asbestos air assessment will let you determine the efficacy of the existing air quality monitoring systems at your home. So, even if you may remove asbestos from your home successfully, you may fail to assess the presence of asbestos-containing materials in the air within your home. Herein comes the importance of asbestos air monitoring. It not only allows you to remove asbestos from your home successfully but also helps you know how asbestos-containing materials are entering your home through existing water leaks, ventilating systems, and heating ducts.
What are the different types of asbestos air testing methods?
Air monitoring around asbestos is done through varied methods and they are as follows:
- Background Monitoring: This air testing procedure involves the assessment of respirable fibers in the air before the commencement of any asbestos removal work which may disturb asbestos-containing materials in the property premises.
- Exposure Monitoring: In this air monitoring process, samples of the breathing zone are collected on a regular basis. Once the data is gathered, it is compared with the national exposure standards to determine the risk of exposure to respirable asbestos fibers.
- Clearance Monitoring: This asbestos air monitoring process is carried out after the completion of the asbestos removal. If the level of airborne fibers present in the property premises is measured below 0.01 fibers/mL, the area is considered to be safe.
- Control Monitoring: This air monitoring test is conducted during the removal of asbestos from property premises. In this process, air monitors are placed in a fixed position to assess the air for respirable airborne asbestos fibers. The primary purpose of this air monitoring method is to evaluate the effectiveness of the existing control measures.
Although many choose to perform asbestos air monitoring on their own, this is not advisable. It’s always better to partner with a licensed and experienced asbestos assessor for conducting air monitoring tests around asbestos. A licensed asbestos assessor is qualified and trained in the field, thus, he/she would be the best person to implement the most suitable sampling strategy for the testing. Hopefully, this blog helped you learn several important things about asbestos air testing in detail!