Importance of Testing for Asbestos
Asbestos is common in our homes in roofing, piping, and flooring materials. While asbestos stands out for its heat resistance properties, it’s a dangerous material linked to many cancers, the most notable being mesothelioma.
The importance of asbestos testing in your home can’t, therefore, be overlooked. However, the cost of hiring an asbestos testing company is high. That’s where asbestos test kits come in handy. You can buy a test kit for far less than you would pay a company to do asbestos testing. However, it’s important to note how asbestos test kits work.
Do Asbestos Test Kits Work?
- The ability of an asbestos kit to work depends on many factors, among them, being how the test kit is used. If the Asbestos Test Kit is used properly and the specific directions are followed, you will get the best results. Be sure to always read reviews and do your research before buying an asbestos test kit.
Using an Asbestos Test Kit
Asbestos test kits come with everything you need to collect asbestos from suspect areas in your home i.e., roofing, piping, insulation, etc. You need an idea of how asbestos looks like to be able to use a test kit.
While there are several types of asbestos, Chrysotile or white asbestos is more common. As the name suggests, it is whitish in color and commonly found in roofing, ceiling, floors, and walls of residential and commercial buildings. While the EPA banned six types of asbestos back in 1986 and over 50 countries have followed in America’s footsteps, asbestos is still present in many products in our homes today.
Once you have an idea of what asbestos looks like, you can proceed and start testing. It’s easy to find a cheap asbestos testing kit online or in a home improvement store. Most asbestos testing kits aren’t entirely DIY. You’ll just be required to take a sample and mail it to an EPA certified asbestos testing lab.
It takes approximately 3-weeks or more for homeowners to get responses on asbestos testing after sending samples. If you want results in a few days, you can hire an EPA-certified professional to do the testing for you. However, be prepared to pay more. There may be an option to pay more and get your results faster. It’s also possible to collect and send more samples at an extra fee.
In some cases, testing kits come with a price inclusive of everything. Depending on the kit you buy, you may be required to pay an additional fee to get your results. It’s also advisable to find out if the kit price includes a pre-paid mailer.
What’s in the best asbestos testing kit?
The best asbestos testing kits out there today come with everything you require to take a sample of asbestos safely. A good kit should have an FFP3 filtered mask or similar mask specifically developed to protect a person from inhaling asbestos fibers when sampling.
The kit should also come with a coverall to protect your clothing from asbestos fibers. The bag should also have gloves for the same reason and a UN-standard waste bag used for disposing of your PPE after sampling is complete. Most importantly, the kit should also have clear easy-to-follow instructions. Other important kit components include antibacterial wipes to dampen down your PPE and prevent the release of asbestos fiber when removing and disposing your PPE. It also helps to have a padded envelope with postage paid to an approved asbestos testing lab.
Important: Remember to wear safety glasses, gloves, and boots.
Sampling Asbestos Solid vs. Dust
When sampling solid or crumbly materials suspected to contain asbestos, wear your protective gear, and cut a sample of the material. Put your sample in the bag that comes with the testing kit and mail it to an approved asbestos testing lab.
When collecting a dust sample, use a damp tissue and wipe the dusty surface in question. Enclose the tissue in the bag provided and send it over for testing.
Do Asbestos Test Kits Work?
Most asbestos kits out there today are actually sampling kits that collect asbestos samples, which are later sent to an approved asbestos testing lab. As a result, the question shouldn’t be “do asbestos test kits work” but rather, how safe a test kit is. You should buy test kits that have everything necessary to ensure you collect and send asbestos samples safely.
You can find the best asbestos test kits online on Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, and other places.
If your sample/s test positive for asbestos, you should call an EPA-certified contractor to remove the asbestos. In many U.S. states, it is illegal to remove asbestos yourself if you aren’t certified to do so. Sampling also requires asbestos awareness.
In fact, OSHA requires persons that work in areas that may contain asbestos (cleaners, contractors, housekeepers, etc.) to receive asbestos awareness training. Haztrainer is the best option for individuals looking for asbestos awareness training online. If you are going to attempt to collect asbestos-containing material, it may be important to take Haztrainer’s 2-hour asbestos awareness training online.