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How Asbestos Sampling Procedure is Done

August 14, 2018

Asbestos sampling procedures necessitate exacting safety measures. The material is hazardous. Respiratory irritation is one short-term risk here, with lung cancer and mesothelioma representing two of a host of the possible long-term health risks. Exposure to these hazards is not permissible, which is why the procedure mandates the use of respiratory gear. From this point onwards, let’s see what the sampling technician does now that he’s protected from the fibres.

A Safety-Equipped Sampling Approach

There’s personal protective gear to be worn by the sampling tech before entrance can be granted into the asbestos-contaminated area. It begins with a capable respiratory system. A half-face cartridge respirator and safety goggles are one option, but a full-face solution is favoured. Add a hard hat and disposable coveralls to that facemask, for these fibres cannot be allowed to leave the danger area. For more information on safety issues, consult this Safe Work Australia asbestos management guide.

Follow the Prep Checklist 

The technician has been given a thorough physical by a doctor. Training and certification are also part of this professional individual’s job-specific qualifications. The sampling team are outfitted in their safety gear, which includes respirators, coveralls, and plastic-coated, disposable footwear. Every conceivable safety guideline has a solid check mark. Next, all ducting systems and heating equipment must be closed down and sealed. No power tools or jet water cleaners are allowed into the area. Finally, this entire site has been sealed off and converted into a safely ensconced enclosure. Let’s get down to the business of collecting the sample.

Collecting the Asbestos Samples 

Placing Plastic sheets on the floor, the sampling team approaches. They’re wearing plastic gloves, and one member is spraying the sample collection location with a fine misting solution. The spray damps down the asbestos and stops fibres from being released during the sampling operation. Like a surgeon, a knife-wielding specialist cuts a section free, drops it into a sample canister or sampling-approved resealable plastic bag, and finishes by meticulously labelling the sample. To fully finish up, the trained and certified employees use a specially dampened cloth to clean the sampling area.

There are certain stages of the procedure that adhere to rigid control guidelines, as established by whatever national agency governs the site. Power tools are completely out of the question, so a vacuum cleaner cannot be employed as a clean-up tool. Likewise, powerful air and water tools cannot be used to clean the entire area, not when this equipment will just further spread the fibrous material. Lastly, the sample is dispatched, sent off by courier to an accredited asbestos-testing laboratory.

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