Curious about potential asbestos products in your home?
Current federal rules and state rules allow a homeowner to collect samples (without training/licensing) to check for asbestos products in their own home. Note: Most states require licensing to collect samples in every circumstance, other than a homeowner in their own home. If you wish to collect samples from your home and send them to our lab, please keep the following in mind before you proceed:
- An asbestos-containing building material in good condition, and undisturbed, poses minimal health risk.
- Non-friable asbestos-containing building materials are not prone to produce fibers in significant quantities, even if moderately damaged. Nonfriable asbestos-containing building materials such as asbestos-containing roof shingles, wall shingles, floor tiles, or glues/mastics are thought to pose minimal health risk, even if slightly damaged or broken.
- The majority of asbestos related diseases were/are caused by long term (decades) exposures at occupational (SOX - lOOX) levels than can reasonably be expected in a home with asbestos-containing building materials in good condition.
- Asbestos is only a hazard if airborne fibers are created and inhaled.
- Asbestos has no odor. It does not cause headaches or allergy or cold like symptoms.
- Most state and federal asbestos rules are related to the activities which produce fibers from asbestos-containing materials - renovation and demolition. We believe it is good practice for a homeowner to determine the asbestos content of a building material in their home prior to disturbing, removal, renovation, or demolition of that material.
- Asbestos was added to many building materials in America, particularly between 1945 and 1980. After 1990, asbestos building materials are not commonly found in homes, although these products can still be found for sale today in home improvement stores.
- Friable asbestos-containing building materials commonly found in homes include sheetrock, sheetrock texture, sheetrock tape & bedding compound, ceiling materials, "popcorn" ceilings, ceiling tiles, pipe insulation; attic insulation, and blown-in wall insulation. Friable materials have a greater potential to produce asbestos fibers if damaged or disturbed.
Still wish to collect and send a sample in? If so:
- Dampen area to sample. Do not douse or soak the material, or use water around electrical sources. The goal here is to simply prevent/limit dust during sampling.
- Cut, break, pinch, scrape, or gather a small amount of the building material. Generally, a tablespoon or quarter size is sufficient.
- Collect sample from an inconspicuous area that is representative of the material. For example, closets are much better places than over the dining room table or in the living room.
- Place each sample in a sealable plastic sandwich bag. Label bag clearly. Keep notes and a record of sample locations.
- Clean up any debris created by sampling with damp paper towel and dispose of in trash.
- Fill out the Chain of Custody for this site found here.
- Place all samples into larger bag, and send to us for analysis.
- Remember to separate individual layers/materials by bag. For example, sheetrock texture is a different material from tape & bedding joint compound, and from the actual sheetrock board.
- Call and speak with one of our staff asbestos consultants if you have questions when you receive your report.
Still have questions about asbestos sampling in your home?
Please feel free to call and speak with our lab, or email us. We would be happy to guide you through the process. Or, if you wish, our staff can provide a free estimate to perform a comprehensive asbestos inspection of your entire home.
State and federal regulations/rules require sampling in a public or commercial building/facility be performed by accredited/licensed personnel. Contact us to request a quote for this sampling.
All samples will be analyzed by Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM).
Our laboratory is accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) of National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) NVLAP Lab Code 101232-0 for Asbestos Fiber Analysis.
Our laboratory is licensed through the Texas Dept. of State Health Services. #30-0007 Asbestos Laboratory, PCM, PLM.
Our current price for individual PLM analysis is $45.00/ea. Final lab reports will be emailed to you, typically within two days after receipt of samples.