Asbestos Testing Kit – What You Need to Know Before Buying an Asbestos Testing Kit
If you suspect that asbestos may be present in your home or place of work the material in question should be tested to determine what, if any, asbestos is present.
We recommend you seek the services of a UKAS accredited organisation to visit your property and carry out any testing required.
It is possible to obtain asbestos testing kits on the market which enable untrained people to take samples of suspect materials themselves.
In this guide we discuss everything you need to know about these asbestos testing kits and evaluate just how effective and safe they really are.
What is an Asbestos Testing Kit?
The vast majority of asbestos testing kits work in a two-step process. The kit provides you with the equipment to take samples of any suspected asbestos containing materials (ACMs). Samples are then posted to a testing laboratory where experts analyse the materials and identify whether they are positive or negative for asbestos content.
Although not as common, there are some kits available whereby you carry out the entire testing process yourself. These DIY kits include a chemical agent which you apply to the material. It is then up to you to read the results accurately.
What’s Included in an Asbestos Testing Kit?
The equipment included will vary from kit to kit. However, generally it includes:
- Disposable coveralls
- Disposable gloves
- Safety glasses/face mask
- Sample bags and packaging
- Cleaning wipes
Asbestos Testing Kit Cost
The price of asbestos testing kits can range from as little as £20 to more than £100. It’s worth noting that not all kits cover the laboratory fee. Whereas the cost for some kits are more comprehensive and include the price for lab analysis, others require you to pay an additional (and larger) fee for the lab results.
Are Asbestos Testing Kits Reliable?
DIY testing kits are not as reliable nor safe as hiring an accredited contractor to take samples of ACMs. The equipment provided in the kits isn’t very advanced and can be difficult to use if you have no previous experience in testing asbestos. This means it can be difficult to effectively take samples which as a result means the samples you do send for analysis may not be a true representation of the materials at your property.
Certified surveyors, on the other hand, have years of experience, are fully qualified and use specialist equipment to ensure the results obtained are 100% accurate.
Should You Use an Asbestos Home Testing Kit?
We do not recommend the use of home testing kits. The following are just a few of the reasons why;
- Exposure to asbestos can be fatal which is why we recommend that you use an accredited organisation such as Casa Environmental Services. Some of the health risks associated with asbestos exposure include lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.
- Asbestos fibres are microscopic and they are often mixed in a matrix of other materials making identification extremely difficult to those not trained in analysis.
- Once you inhale the fibres, it’s easy for them to become trapped and cause serious health problems later on in life. The masks provided in testing kits are not effective in protecting against airborne asbestos fibres.
- Failure to carry out the tests safely may disturb the asbestos fibres and cause them to become friable and airborne, which means that not only you but anyone else in the property is at risk of exposure.
- The sampling points must be effectively sealed after testing in order to prevent fibre release into the air or onto clothing, furniture etc.
Professional Asbestos Testing
If you suspect your property may contain ACMs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today. Here at Casa Environmental Services, we provide UKAS accredited asbestos surveying and analytical services to clients all over the UK.
We will work methodically through your property to detect any ACMs present, paying particularly close attention to the materials that are likely to contain asbestos such as ceiling tiles, insulation and artex. The survey will be recorded in detail (with photographs) and all suspected ACMs sent to our laboratory for analysis.
We will then provide you with a survey report which will outline detailed information about the type of asbestos, its condition and location. We can then offer advice as to the best way to manage or remove any asbestos present and if necessary compile a management plan detailing how the asbestos is to be managed.