Asbestos Bulk Sample Analysis

Asbestos was used in more than 3,000 different types of building materials from the 1950s to 1990s.  If your home was built before the 1990s and you are planning to do renovation(s), it is important to determine if any of the building materials contain asbestos.  When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, asbestos fibres are released into the air.  The release of asbestos fibres into the air is a health risk for workers working on the property and the people living in the home.

Bulk sample analysis of potential asbestos-containing building materials needs to be conducted by a staff of highly trained and experienced laboratory analysts.  Astech’s current roster of asbestos laboratory analysts has a combined experience of 20 years in locating and identifying the differing asbestiform minerals present in older fibrated building materials.

Astech’s laboratory utilizes analytical method NIOSH 9002 Issue 2 ‘Asbestos (bulk) by Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM)’ which is an accepted method of asbestos bulk sample analysis by WCB.

Astech participates in the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Bulk Asbestos Proficiency Analytical Testing (BAPAT) Program as one method to ensure that proper quality control methods are in place.

For a copy of our chain of custody, click here.

How to Take Asbestos Samples

Follow these helpful instructions to collect samples for asbestos testing and analysis:

  • Spray the building material with a mixture of soap and water to prevent fibre from being released during sample collection.
  • While using a HEPA-filtered respirator, take a representative sample from within the materials suspected of containing asbestos by penetrating the entire depth of the material.
  • Place the sample in a sealable freezer bag and attach a label with material description and location.
  • For multiple samples, please enclose each sample in separate sealed bags. This avoids cross-contamination.

If you have any questions about sampling procedures or quantities, please call our office.

Asbestos Samples Guide

MaterialsMinimum Amount
Asphalt shingles5 cm x 5 cm (2 in. x 2 in.)
Roofing felt5 cm x 5 cm (2 in. x 2 in.) – all layers must be collected, down to the sheathing
Cement board5 cm x 5 cm (2 in. x 2 in.)
Floor tile, linoleum, asphalt flooring5 cm x 5 cm (2 in. x 2 in.)
Ceiling tiles5 cm x 5 cm (2 in. x 2 in.)
Mechanical insulation (piping)50 cm3 (3 cu. in.) – all layers must be collected, down to the pipe
Ropes, gaskets, wires, etc.5 linear cm (2 linear in.) or 5 cm x 5 cm (2 in. x 2 in.)
Levelling compounds and mortars50 cm3 (3 cu. in.)
Mastics and putties15 cm3 (1 cu. in.)
Texture coats and stuccos50 cm3 (3 cu. in.)
Drywall mud5 cm x 5 cm (2 in. x 2 in.) – mud only, do not include gypsum board or drywall tape
Vermiculite insulation4 L (1 gal.) – collect from the top to the bottom of the application to get a representative sample
Sprayed insulation (for example, sprayed fireproofing)50 cm3 (3 cu. in.)
Other sprayed materials1 full, small zip-lock bag
Other non-friable products5 cm x 5 cm (2 in. x 2 in.)
Turnaround TimeCost per Asbestos Bulk Sample
Standard 3 to 5 Day$30.00 per sample plus GST
Rush 24 Hour$45.00 per sample plus GST
Rush 4 Hour$60.00 per sample plus GST
Super Rush 1-2 Hour$90.00 per sample plus GST
American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Bulk Asbestos Proficiency Analytical Testing (BAPAT) Astech Consultants Ltd. Laboratory Participant ID# 200542

Pre-Demolition Hazardous Material Surveys

Prior to a building/structure demolition permit application, depending on individual city/district/township, a hazardous building materials report is required.  This report must detail the presence and location of asbestos-containing building materials, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, stored chemicals, and silica.

Pre-Renovation Hazardous Material Surveys

Prior to a building renovation, a proper pre-project renovation survey is required to ensure that building occupants, as well as any contracted trades, are not exposed to asbestos fibres or any other hazardous materials which may be present.

Pre-Purchase Hazardous Material Surveys

Astech has developed a cost-effective survey and report format that includes detailed contractor budgets for the abatement of hazardous building materials, which would occur at some time in the future. The budget estimates for hazmat abatement provided in the report are intended to satisfy your due diligence and can be utilized to form a key dollar value component in negotiating a typical buy/sell agreement.

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