ASBESTOS TESTING & INSPECTION
At The Healthy Abode Inc. we perform Asbestos Management Surveys, Asbestos Testing and Asbestos Inspection (both Initial and Clearance) and write Scopes of Work for asbestos abatement for owners, property managers, contractors and any other person or group who may require such a service in compliance with Ontario Regulation 278/05. We are fully insured and WSIB. Our reports are fully legal and certified.
We area able to get you your final asbestos report in as little as 1 business day. Contact us or call for an estimate over the phone, 647-889-2254.
Serving Residential and Commercial clients in GTA and South-Western Ontario
Initial Meeting over Phone: When you decide to call The Healthy Abode Inc. regarding asbestos testing, we will knowledgeably answer all of your questions and provide you with a detailed account of our asbestos testing services.
Visual Inspection: If you and one of our certified inspectors agree that your home may contain asbestos and be in need of asbestos testing, we will come to your home and perform a visual inspection. This is when we will establish which areas in your home need asbestos testing.
Pre-Inspection Report: Before beginning the visual inspection we will sit down with you and ask some important questions about your home regarding asbestos testing (this is considered the pre-inspection report.)
Professional Sampling: The Healthy Abode Inc. is qualified to perform any type of necessary sampling in your home. This includes the following sampling techniques, air, surface/bulk (swab/tape-lift) and dust sampling for asbestos testing. For these procedures, we only perform the necessary sampling and we only use professional equipment. For asbestos testing we sample in accordance to Ontario Regulation 278/05, which requires us to take at least three bulk pieces of each type of homogenous material that we are concerned may contain asbestos (i.e. tile, popcorn ceiling) and submit this to the laboratory for asbestos testing. For PCM air asbestos testing, we follow the PCM method also recommended by Ontario Regulation 278/05.
Sampling sent to a Certified Third Party Laboratory: We submit our sample(s) to a third party laboratory. The turn around time for the lab is same day – 4 business days for bulk asbestos testing samples and PCM air asbestos testing samples. All of our samples are properly labeled and submitted with a Chain of Custody form, which allows us to trace possession of the sample from the point of collection to receipt from the lab. This maintains the integrity of your samples.
Written Report of the Results: The laboratory provides a detailed written report of the asbestos testing of your job site/home. It will identify which specific types of asbestos, if any, are present in the materials sampled from your job site/home.
In addition to the laboratory report, The Healthy Abode Inc. provides you with our own asbestos testing report which explains the lab report in further detail, as well as outlines all of our notes and observations.
Verbal Explanation of the Reports: It is very important to us that you feel comfortable with both the laboratory and inspection asbestos testing reports. This is why we will discuss with you the results and explain them in a manner that satisfies your understanding. At this point we will answer any questions you may have about the asbestos testing including providing recommendations.
According to Health Canada asbestos was a popular material widely used in construction and many other industries.
Asbestos is the generic name for a variety of fibrous minerals found naturally in rock formations around the world. Because asbestos fibres are strong, durable and non-combustible, they were widely used by industry, mainly in construction and friction materials.
Common Areas For Asbestos In Buildings:
In the Home:
- Roofing Materials
- Exterior Siding
Construction materials that often contain asbestos include:
- Floor tiles
- Sprayed-on Coating or Textured Coating
- Window Sills
- Bath Panels
- Fuse Boxes
- Backing Materials for Carpets
Insulation materials that may also contain asbestos include:
- Wall Cavities
- Partition Walls
- Shaft Linings
- Fireproofing panels in fire doors
- Loft Spaces
Asbestos may be present in other locations in the home such as fireplaces, furnaces and in soundproofing materials or paint.
Our Asbestos Testing/Inspection Services:
We test for asbestos in accordance with Ontario Regulation 278/05, which means a minimum of three bulk samples or two air samples analysed by a certified laboratory per homogenous material/area. This makes our reports both certified and legal. We are fully certified, insured and WSIB. We perform work for many property management companies, contractors, private homeowners and schools. Call or contact us for an estimate, 647-889-2254.
Asbestos Bulk Sampling:
Common areas of concern for asbestos in homes includes asbestos in tile flooring, asbestos in popcorn ceiling, vermiculite asbestos insulation, asbestos pipe wrap, asbestos duct wrap, asbestos drywall joint compound and asbestos in textured plaster.
For the area(s) of concern we will take 3 representative bulk samples (each material) and submit these to the laboratory for analysis. We take three samples in accordance with Ontario Regulation 278/05, which requires a minimum of three samples per homogenous material in order to avoid a false negative. You will receive two reports (laboratory report and The Healthy Abode Inc. report), via email, in one-two business days. We will determine if no asbestos is present (ND – None Detected), or alternatively if asbestos is present, the quantity and the type i.e. chrysotile abets – 5%. Anything over 0.5% is considered unsafe, and should be handled accordingly.
Depending on the outcome of the testing, we will provide you with recommendations; and you are welcome to consult with us regarding asbestos safe work practices and asbestos handling. We can also perform an Asbestos Air Sample if the Asbestos Bulk Sample does contain asbestos.
Asbestos Air Sampling:
PCM asbestos air sampling can be performed to identify airborne asbestos and other fibres. Such tests prove to be very useful as clearance samples after asbestos abatement has been performed or in instances when you may be concerns that asbestos has been disturbed i.e. moving into a newly renovated house that is older than 1980.
TEM asbestos air samples provide the actual quantity of asbestos fibres specifically, however, PCM and TEM refer to laboratory analysis methods, one being more specific and expensive than the other. Ontario regulation 278/05 generally allows for PCM air sampling (see below) as a reasonable gage of whether or not the air is safe, however, TEM air sampling can be performed.
PCM Air Sampling (to detect asbestos and other fibres):
We will take a minimum of two air samples in the area(s) of concern (number of samples depends on square footage of affected area.) You will receive two reports, via email, in four business days, namely the laboratory report and The Healthy Abode Inc. report. We will determine the quantity of airborne fibres. According to Ontario Regulation 278/05 Sec. 18(5), in order to “pass” this test, every air sample collected much have a concentration of fibres that does not exceed 0.01 fibres per cubic centimetre of air (<0.01 fibres/cc.) The air samples will run concurrently for 160 minutes. Each air sample, in accordance to Ontario Regulation, we collect 2,400 litres of air. Fans will be run to agitate the air while asbestos sampling, as per Ontario Regulation 278/05 requirement.
Sources of Asbestos
Occupational – The risks are greatest for workers in industries with produce and use asbestos, such as mining and milling. Today’s strict standards, however, limit workers’ exposure and the ban of most uses of amphibole asbestos have reduced the risk.
During renovations and repairs to older buildings, construction workers, tradespeople and other building maintenance workers may be exposed to very high concentrations of asbestos fibers.
Environmental – Negligible levels of asbestos fibres are found in the soil, water and air, both naturally and from man-made sources. Asbestos concentrations in the air in rural areas are about ten times lower than those in larger cities, which are about 1,000 times lower than levels accepted in today’s asbestos-related jobs. With such low exposure, environmental risks are negligible.
Buildings & Homes – Because it is a valuable reinforcing, insulating and fire-proofing material, asbestos was used widely in construction materials such as insulation board, asbestos cement, and floor and ceiling tiles. These products are very dense and do not release significant amounts of fibres under normal use. However, fibres may be release if these products are cut or damaged.
Asbestos fibre concentrations in the air in buildings are usually about the same as in the air outside, and are not a significant risk. However, levels may be higher if friable asbestos materials are disturbed. One of the main problems with asbestos came from sprayed or “friable” (easily broken up) amphibole asbestos used in buildings until the 1970s.
There is also concern about vermiculite insulation which may contain small amounts of amphibole asbestos, principally tremolite or actinolite. These amphibole fibres may cause health risks if disturbed. However, there is currently no evidence of risk to your health if the insulation is sealed behind wallboards and floorboards, isolated in the attic or otherwise kept from exposure to the home or interior environment, states Health Canada, April, 2011.
The Health Risks of Asbestos
Asbestos poses health risks only when fibres are present in the air that people breathe. We can determine the presence of airborne Asbestos fibres with PCM Asbestos Testing. How exposure to asbestos can affect you depends on:
- the concentration of asbestos fibres in the air;
- how long the exposure lasted;
- how often you were exposed;
- the size of the asbestos fibres inhaled; and/or
- the amount of time since the initial exposure
When inhaled in significant quantities, asbestos fibres can cause asbestosis (a scarring of the lungs which makes breathing difficult), mesothelioma (a rare cancer of the lining of the chest or abdominal cavity) and lung cancer. The link between exposure to asbestos and other types of cancers is less clear.
Smoking, combined with inhaled asbestos, greatly increases the risk of lung cancer.
Common Materials for Asbestos in Homes:
Asbestos tiles, particularly vinyl, with their brighter colours and low cost became enormously popular in the mid 20th century. Many of these old asbestos floor tiles are still intact today.
Asbestos floor tiles are generally safe and legal to keep in buildings as long as they are intact and in good condition. Asbestos in any product becomes dangerous when it’s damaged in any way, either through decay, breakage, or removal. Asbestos floor tiles can also release asbestos fibres when over-sanded with a sanding cleaner or other inappropriate cleaning method.
Asbestos floor tiles may also be located underneath existing carpeting, so if you are planning on re-doing your flooring it is important to make sure the the tile underneath, that will be disturbed, does not contain asbestos.
Asbestos floor tiles may also contain asbestos containing black mastic adhesive, the black glue that is used to adhere the tiles to the floor. Asbestos testing will determine if either the tile and/or the glue does or does not contain asbestos.
Acoustical plaster was a popular addition to many homes, schools, and commerical buildings starting in the 1940s. It gained widespread use because it had both style and function. Sprayed on walls and ceilings, acoustical plaster was cheap, fire-resistant, and great insulator and sound absorber. Furthermore, besides visual appeal, acoustical plaster, particularly when applied as a “popcorn” ceiling (shown above) hid mistakes and poor craftmanship.
Textured “popcorn” ceilings are no longer considered stylish and many homeowners attempt to remove their old ceilings themselves without realizing they may contain asbestos. Plaster is also prone to crumbling or other damage over time. Intact acoustical asbestos plaster is considered to be relatively safe. But disturbing it, by scraping or sanding for example, may release countless microscopic asbestos fibers into the air. As such, asbestos testing is recommended for any popcorn ceiling that will be disturbed, even if you are simply going to install pot lights.
New Laws Regarding Asbestos
In 2005 the Ontario government created Ontario Regulation 278/05 Designated Substance – Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations. These new Ontario regulations were created to replace the previous regulation, Ontario Regulation 838/90 which had been in place since 1985.
The Healthy Abode Inc. inspectors have successfully completed the Asbestos Abatement Worker program 253W – Certification # 705412-01p, approved by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), designed for Type 3 Asbestos Abatement work. The Healthy Abode Inc. is aware of and operates within, the confines of O. Reg 278/05. We are classified as Type 1 asbestos workers, and work within the rules and regulations that pertain to Type 1 asbestos workers/supervisor for all asbestos testing.