Do you have questions about asbestos sampling, testing, or removal? We’ve compiled a list of the most common frequently asked questions about asbestos. If your question is not listed, feel free to call us at (503) 659-8338 or send us a message. Please click the question to drop down to the answer.

 

How do you test for asbestos?
What is asbestos used for?
Are there different types of asbestos?
What are asbestos fibers?
When was asbestos banned?
Is asbestos dangerous if undisturbed?
What are the health risks of asbestos?
How to recognize asbestos?
What does asbestos insulation look like?
What does asbestos popcorn ceiling look like?
How do I identify asbestos ceiling tiles?
How much does it cost to test for asbestos?
Can I collect my own sample?
Do you offer mail-in asbestos testing?
Do home inspections check for asbestos?
How is asbestos removed?
What is the most common asbestos-containing material?
Is there a risk for asbestos exposure during a home renovation?

How do you test for asbestos?

Testing for asbestos is rather easy. All we need is a sample of the material in question. We then take a look at it under a microscope using polarized light. This method, EPA 600, is how we can see the asbestos.

 

What is asbestos used for?

Asbestos is used as a binder in building materials, and as a fire retardant and insulator. As a binder, it can be found in flooring, drywall, and roof materials. As a fire retardant and insulator, it’s found in pipe wrapping, vehicle brakes, and home insulation. Asbestos was even used in clothes once!

 

Are there different types of asbestos?

The many different types of asbestos are chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite. Chrysotile is the most common we see in materials. Amosite is another one we see, typically in vermiculite insulation.

 

What are asbestos fibers?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. The fibers are flexible and soft but resistant to corrosion and heat.

 

When was asbestos banned?

Asbestos is not banned, it is heavily regulated by the United States government. This means we import materials from other countries, that may contain asbestos. 2004 was when the last asbestos mine closed in the U.S. Starting around the 1930s is when asbestos started to being used in homes. Minimal amounts may still be used in homes today.

 

Is asbestos dangerous if undisturbed?

Asbestos can remain not dangerous if it goes undisturbed. Examples are floor tiles and mastic. Popcorn ceiling, on the other hand, is called friable asbestos. Friable means that with regular human force the asbestos can be released into the air. Friable asbestos is dangerous.

 

What are the health risks of asbestos?

Asbestos health risks include mesothelioma and other forms of cancer.

 

How to recognize asbestos?

Asbestos is not easy to recognize due to its fiber size. That’s why we recommend calling us and getting materials tested if you have concerns.

 

What does asbestos insulation look like?

Asbestos can be found in vermiculite insulation. The insulation looks cubed crumbles, and color varies in different shades of beige. They are light like styrofoam.
Vermiculite Insulation with asbestos

What does asbestos popcorn ceiling look like?

Asbestos popcorn ceiling is a sprayed-on texture. It has almost a cottage cheese-like appearance. If barely touched it can turn in to powder.

 

popcorn ceiling with asbestos

 

How do I identify asbestos ceiling tiles?

Asbestos ceiling tiles may look like cardboard or plywood. They can be perforated with different designs or pitted with a stucco-likeness. They can be dangerous if disturbed.

 

How much does it cost to test for asbestos?

Costs to test for asbestos is determined by the Turn-Around-Time. We offer express rush services in addition to our regular turn-around-time Please call for a quote!

 

Can I collect my own sample?

Yes! Please follow the instructions on our how to collect an asbestos sample page.

 

Do you offer mail-in asbestos testing?

If you cannot get to one of our locations you can mail in your asbestos sample by using USPS, Fed Ex, or UPS. Please make sure your samples are sealed in a Ziploc bag. Instructions for our mail-in asbestos testing can be found on our chain of custody form.

 

Do home inspections check for asbestos?

Home inspections do not check for asbestos. The inspector is not allowed to damage the building they are inspecting, therefore unable to take a sample and have it tested

 

How is asbestos removed?

We recommend asbestos removal to be performed by a professional, but you are allowed to do it yourself as well.

 

What is the most common asbestos-containing material?

There is no one common asbestos-containing material. We see it in many different building materials and insulating products.

 

Is there a risk for asbestos exposure during a home renovation?

There is a risk for asbestos exposure during a home renovation. You should have materials tested before you start any home improvement project.

 
 
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Our chain of custody form has instructions for dropping off and mailing in samples.