Asbestos Testing & Assessment Services

Asbestos is a name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals that can be separated into flexible fibres. It is found in veins of the host rock and was widely produced into commercially useful forms up until about 1980. The main properties of asbestos that made it so commercially successful are its indestructibility, strength and flexibility. These properties are also what makes asbestos dangerous when inhaled.

Asbestos was used in building materials up until mid-1980. Vermiculite was used up until the early 1990’s. Most products that contained asbestos have long since been replaced or are no longer in use.

Building materials that used asbestos include:

  • Building exteriors – siding and roof panels, soffits, roofing felts and mastics, stucco, brick and block mortar compounds, etc.
  • Flooring – vinyl asbestos tiles, sheet vinyl flooring paper backing, floor leveling compounds, etc.
  • Ceilings – ceiling tiles, acoustic and stippled finishes, plaster, drywall joint compounds
  • Walls – plaster, drywall joint compounds, stipple finishes, cement panels, etc.
  • Service areas – mechanical insulations, duct paper, pipe insulations, wall cavity insulations (vermiculite), etc.
  • Structural – fireproofing on beams, decks, joists, columns, etc.
  • Miscellaneous – light fixture backings, fume hoods, lab counters, elevator brake shoes, firestopping, wire insulation, etc.

For a more complete list, please visit Alberta Infrastructure’s Technical Bulletin (issue no. 20B, Sept. 2013).

Safety Coordination Services‘ Professional asbestos testing services include:

  • Bulk Material Sampling
  • Laboratory Analysis
  • Asbestos Building Material Inventory
  • Risk Assessment

The Asbestos Testing Procedure

Sampling and analytical methodologies are carried using either the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Method 9002 or the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 600/R-93/116 using polarized light microscopy (PLM) and dispersion techniques. Vermiculite samples are analyzed in accordance with Method EPA 600/R-04/004.

Based on the findings of sampling and onsite assessment during the asbestos testing process, SCS will assist you to develop and implement appropriate and cost-effective control measures, which include options to remove, encapsulate, enclose or manage in place.

For more information, please contact:

Ted Letourneau, B.Sc., EP
Group Lead, Industrial Hygiene Division
Phone: (780) 485-3585