How to Test for Asbestos and What to Do

by | Jun 17, 2013 | Business Services

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New York certainly has a lot of old buildings that are still in use today. Many of these buildings were built during the era when the use of asbestos in building materials was very popular. Asbestos was popular because it had several likeable qualities. Of course, the biggest reason why so many people chose to use asbestos was because of its flame retardant properties.

Today most people realize that, while asbestos does have a lot of great qualities, it also has one devastatingly bad quality. Asbestos was found to be a carcinogen. In other words, asbestos can become airborne if disturbed too much. Once asbestos becomes airborne it can then be easily breathed in. This is where problems begin to occur. Asbestos is presumed to cause mesothelioma and lung cancer. Since the 1980s, building owners have been asked to perform asbestos testing New York buildings built before 1980.

Asbestos Testing Process

The testing starts with a visual inspection. An inspector will perform a thorough examination, paying careful attention to problem areas. Careful attention is also paid to those products and materials that have the highest probability of containing asbestos. These are the areas where an inspector will spend the bulk of his or her time testing.

Following the visual inspection, the inspector will then go back to the areas where he or she marked for testing. The tests are performed with a microscopic analysis and can only be performed at an approved testing facility. The National Institute for Standards and Technology maintains a list of approved testing facilities.

The testing process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It just depends on how busy they are at the time that they receive the test samples. Once they have complete the tests they will then package up the results and mail it back to the person who ordered the tests. If the tests come back positive for asbestos, then the next step is to perform an analysis of the asbestos removal process.

The asbestos removal process can get very expensive. It is, however, a necessary task. The environmental and health risks are just too great to not do anything about it. Removal is the only option if the asbestos is loose.