Asbestos air testing or asbestos air monitoring involves many things: monitoring of asbestos exposure, monitoring the control measures and checking the air for the neighbourhood. If you think the asbestos sheet you used for roofing or the fibro wall containing asbestos is safe as it is not friable and therefore safe you must understand that they can turn non-friable if disturbed. So, to be sure of your and your locality’s safety and security you must appoint professionals to test and monitor the air.
For asbestos air monitoring, the worker wears an air sampling pump that has a filter in its breathing zone. The breathing zone can be defined as area covering 300 mm radius extending in front of a person’s face and measured from the midpoint of an imaginary line joining the ears. The fibre count is then specifically tested to check if it is above the permitted limit. Asbestos air testing is also done for control monitoring. It uses static equipment in a particular area to find out traces of airborne fibres within that region. It is helpful for background monitoring too, that is, to find out the general level of fibres present in the air at any given time. At times it is not associated with asbestos removal. But very often it is used in areas where there are chances of asbestos degradation.
Asbestos air monitoring for control is also carried out during asbestos removal from a site as during this asbestos fibres may disperse in the air. Asbestos air testing is done with static monitoring equipments placed at multiple locations in the region of the removal works. The location is decided depending on the project and size of the site. Clearance monitoring for asbestos is done after the removal operations have been completed. It ensures that after the process the air is safe to breathe. This also makes sure that all asbestos has been removed completely and correctly and the area is safe to be re-occupied.
For asbestos air monitoring the equipments used should be properly calibrated to get the right results. Also, the workers engaged for asbestos air testing should be trained and experienced to handle the job. The equipments used should be NATA or National Association of Testing Authorities approved and analyses afterwards should be carried out in accredited laboratories. This ensures that the process used for air testing was done properly and the result is authentic. This also ensures that the employees engaged for the job were competent and expert in carrying out their work.
Asbestos air monitoring is done due to different reasons. Asbestos air testing is legally compulsory when friable asbestos is being removed from a site. Although it is not mandatory for non-friable or bonded asbestos removal, it is better to monitor, especially in places like schools, hospitals or other public buildings. For vulnerable areas you should get the test done periodically. You should contact an authorised agent as quickly as possible to make sure that your safety is not compromised.