Asbestos Sampling/Air Monitoring
Air sampling is widely used to determine fiber concentrations in air. However, air sampling methods generally do not positively identify whether the collected fibers are asbestos or not. In order to confirm whether asbestos is present (and to characterize which type of asbestos it is), a ‘bulk sample’ is taken.
A ‘bulk sample’ is a term commonly used to describe material collected to establish whether or not asbestos is present in a material, location or area. The sample is usually analyzed using polarized light microscopy. Bulk sampling may be undertaken for a variety of reasons ranging from the collection of a single sample through to a complete asbestos audit of a site to prepare an asbestos register to develop an asbestos management plan.
Asbestos Risk Assessments
When asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) are identified (or presumed to be present) an assessment of the risk that they pose to users and occupants of the premises should be undertaken.
The purpose of the assessment is to help decide what action is appropriate to deal with the ACM’s and to make decisions on what materials should be dealt with first. The risk to health is not simply dependent on how easily the ACM can release fibers, but also whether the material is likely to be disturbed and if disturbed whether people are likely to be exposed to the fibers.
The purpose of the survey is to help manage asbestos in the duty holder’s premises. The survey has to provide sufficient information for an Asbestos Register & Plan to be prepared, a suitable Risk Assessment to be carried out and a written plan to manage the risks which are identified.