The Role of Asbestos Testing Labs in Ensuring Safety

The Role of Asbestos Testing Labs in Ensuring Safety

Whether residential, commercial, or industrial, your worksite could be vulnerable to the dangers of asbestos. This often concealed hazard has been a serious cause for concern in the property development and construction industry for decades, thanks to its toxic nature and the fact that it is often not easily detectable.

While widely used in the past, today, we know that asbestos is associated with many severe health problems. The slightest disturbance can spell danger for anyone living or working near the material, so it’s vital that its presence be detected.

Asbestos testing labs play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of you, your team and those who live or work close to your site. Read on as we explore how asbestos can be harmful, how a reputable lab tackles testing, and some tips for identifying a well-accredited lab for asbestos testing.

Understanding the Dangers of Asbestos

Used widely throughout the mid-1900s as a construction material, asbestos is now known to be a major health hazard. Asbestos is a fibrous material with crystalline qualities, meaning it can break or flake off into microscopic pieces when disturbed. Since these pieces are so small, they’re also easy to inhale, which has the potential to cause respiratory illnesses – even years after exposure.

What’s particularly tricky about asbestos is that it’s rarely seen in its raw form. Instead, many homes and businesses are hiding what the industry calls asbestos-containing materials or ACMs. Gib, insulation, and some paint products can contain this hidden hazard, which is difficult to detect with the naked eye.

When construction or development work begins on a new home – or even a previously demolished structure – it’s possible that asbestos could be drifting in the air without your team being aware of it. Given the major health hazards tied to this substance, it’s crucial to identify and manage any ACMs that might be present before beginning work.

How Asbestos Testing Labs Ensure Safety

This is where Consultex Labs comes in. We work with public or construction industry members to identify whether asbestos is present, then lay out a management plan to eradicate or isolate the substance to ensure it won’t be harmful.

Labs like ours use specialised techniques to find and count asbestos fibres in everything from paint to soil samples. Our testing process follows a rigorous custody chain, ensuring samples and their results are accurately delivered to the right team.

In the lab, an asbestos test would typically follow these steps:

  • Sample Collection

Consultex Labs offers two modalities for sample collection. You can either carefully sample a material yourself and send it to our two main laboratories for testing, or you can contact our on-site team to come and safely sample the entire site to detect any hidden asbestos. The former is best if you suspect asbestos in one particular material, while the latter might suit an ongoing development project.

Samples can range from surface wipes and dust samples to captured air samples or even soil.

  • Sample Analysis

We conduct bulk sampling and testing of building materials, soil samples, and air samples. Using microscopic analysis, we work to identify the type and quantity of asbestos fibres in the sample.

Depending on the kind of test we recommend, you might receive a simple Present/Absent result indicating whether asbestos is present, or you might receive a full dossier on the amount and type.

We also offer same-day service on bulk analysis for construction projects on a tight deadline.

  • Reporting

Once done with testing, we deliver a detailed report outlining our findings, allowing you to have all the information you need at your fingertips. To be sure you’re taking the safest next steps, we also work with our partners at Consultex Environmental to provide asbestos management plans and surveys.

Tip: Always ensure you’re working with an accredited asbestos testing lab. At Consultex Labs, our IANZ accreditation relays that our lab has been rigorously vetted and meets standards set out by the International Organisation for Standards (ISO) for our industry.

Reputable asbestos testing labs play a vital role in the safety of anyone connected with residential, commercial, and industrial development. When you may be exposed to dangerous, concealed materials, connecting with an accredited laboratory that can reliably detect asbestos is vital. Our facility can recommend safety measures and the best next steps to ensure your work is completed with minimal harm.

By understanding the dangers of this material and collaborating with Consultex Labs, you can prioritise the health of your workers and the public alike.

Don’t wait – test for asbestos today.

Consultex Labs provides independent asbestos testing and identification services for residential, commercial, and industrial sites all over New Zealand. We understand the importance of accuracy and a quick turnaround time thanks to our extensive experience partnering with developers, so we deliver the best results no matter your requirements.

Ready to embark on your construction or renovation project? Get in touch with the team at Consultex Labs for a free consultation or quote for your site now.

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