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Asbestos assessor

By 19 June 2014 15

I’ve been reading up on the possibility of asbestos being present in older houses in the ACT and would like to get it assessed.

I have come up with a list of questions to ask:

Do you have any licence restrictions? (I read about the possibility of some assessors not being able to check above 2.4 m)
How much does it cost?
Are you affiliated with any removal services?
What is a rough outline of the procedure?
What sort of accuracy can you attest to?

Is there anything else I can ask/need to know and can any of you fine rioters recommend anyone? I have found the list of active assessor licensees but I don’t know anything about them.

http://www.actpla.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/23948/20140611-Asbestos_Assessor.pdf

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15 Responses to Asbestos assessor
#1
sportsmum10:11 pm, 19 Jun 14

You could try Robson Environmental for a comprehensive report. They do a lot of reporting and organising of cleaning up of asbestos in the ACT – I think a report is about $1,000. http://www.robsonenviro.com.au/asbestos-hazardous-materials.html

#2
Deborah12:02 am, 20 Jun 14

I recently had my laundry renovated and discovered asbestos in my laundry (my house was built in 1976). I took a sample to Robson who were able to test it on the spot for me (and confirm it was asbestos).

I was worried the rest of my house was made with the same stuff but rather than get every wall tested a technician showed me a trick… using a sharp knife stab the wall. If the tip goes in easily it’s not asbestos. If it won’t then it’s the yuck stuff. Obviously scientific testing is your only way of 100% certainty – if you have the $$ I highly recommend Robson.

FWIW I paid for an inspection in 1996 and was told my house was free of asbestos.

#3
candelabra10:15 am, 20 Jun 14

Thanks for the comments so far.
@sportsmum: $1000, wow, that’s more than I expected
@Deborah That’s terrible you previously had it tested and got an inaccurate report! I’m kind of scared to go poking it with a sharp knife :P. I am curious about the sample testing, that might be a simpler way, if I could work out how to remove a sample from the wall without disturbing it too much…

#4
Deborah2:12 pm, 20 Jun 14

Don’t be worried about sticking a knife in – a thumb tack will do the same thing.

Here’s something information I found about getting a sample (copied from Airsafe):

If you suspect you’ve found asbestos at home, your first step is to collect a sample. You should always be careful when taking samples of materials you suspect contain asbestos;
always use a P2 disposable dust mask when dealing with suspect materials. You can buy these at your local hardware store;
wet the material to suppress dust release;
carefully collect a sample using hand tools (sample size should be five grams to 100 grams) (I used a serrated knife);
place the sample in a clip-lock plastic bag. You can find these at any supermarket;
clean your hand tools thoroughly with a wet wipe then seal the wipe in its own clip-lock bag;
double-bag your sample in a second sealable plastic bag;
after sampling, you should use paint to seal any broken material with the potential to cause airborne asbestos dust.

#5
sportsmum4:16 pm, 20 Jun 14

candelabra said :

Thanks for the comments so far.
@sportsmum: $1000, wow, that’s more than I expected
@Deborah That’s terrible you previously had it tested and got an inaccurate report! I’m kind of scared to go poking it with a sharp knife :P. I am curious about the sample testing, that might be a simpler way, if I could work out how to remove a sample from the wall without disturbing it too much…

It’s a lot I know, but they are Class A qualified (most in Canberra aren’t) and this is one area where you really do get what you pay for. They will inspect every single area of your home, including cavities, recesses, under the house, and look for all the places where asbestos might pose a danger to you. They did an asbestos clean up at my children’s school last year and they were just so careful about making sure everything was handled properly and the kids were safe during the process. I have heard horror stories of families getting the all clear only to be told later that their kids clothes or toys are covered in asbestos dust from leaks in the cupboards. Better to be safe than sorry. Best of luck to you.

#6
candelabra7:45 pm, 22 Jun 14

Thank you both.

#7
gazket5:52 pm, 23 Jun 14

ring the MBA They will put you in touch with a reputable assessor.

I did the asbestos identification course there a few weeks ago. The teacher there was a local asbestos assess (English background) and lived in Canberra for over 30 years.

#8
theword9:02 pm, 23 Jun 14

I’ve heard a couple of reports saying around 1000 houses have been identified as having ‘Mr Fluffy’. Does anyone know out of this 1000 how many have had the asbestos removed?

#9
thatsnotme10:25 pm, 23 Jun 14

theword said :

I’ve heard a couple of reports saying around 1000 houses have been identified as having ‘Mr Fluffy’. Does anyone know out of this 1000 how many have had the asbestos removed?

I believe they have all had the asbestos ‘removed’. The issue is that the removal didn’t get all of it, and free floating asbestos fibres still remain.

#10
Maya12311:10 pm, 23 Jun 14

theword said :

I’ve heard a couple of reports saying around 1000 houses have been identified as having ‘Mr Fluffy’. Does anyone know out of this 1000 how many have had the asbestos removed?

Supposedly all of them, but it wasn’t removed from everywhere. It’s turning up in wall cavities and other places.

#11
creative_canberran11:32 am, 24 Jun 14

thatsnotme said :

theword said :

I’ve heard a couple of reports saying around 1000 houses have been identified as having ‘Mr Fluffy’. Does anyone know out of this 1000 how many have had the asbestos removed?

I believe they have all had the asbestos ‘removed’. The issue is that the removal didn’t get all of it, and free floating asbestos fibres still remain.

The original survey found about 1050 residential properties. However there’s a few points to make about this, the first is some properties were missed, some properties were not classified as residential and not cleaned and there were anecdotal reports at the time of deliberate concealment of installations and DIY removals prior to the survey. Now it looks as though even those that were cleaned and certified were not completely cleaned. So everyone with a Fluffy home should now assume that unless it has been retested, there may be remnant materials in the non-habitable areas of the home and potentially in the habitable areas too.

#12
candelabra1:39 pm, 25 Jun 14

Just checking, is the MBA these guys: http://www.masterbuilders.com.au/?

#13
wildturkeycanoe8:11 pm, 25 Jun 14

I read today that soon pretty much anybody is going to be trained in asbestos. Anyone in construction, including even interior designers?? will have to get their asbestos training at cost of $300 before September 30 or be possibly fined up to $6000. Talk about another rort on the construction industry. Another piece of legislation that will do little but raise revenue.

#14
watto2311:04 am, 26 Jun 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

I read today that soon pretty much anybody is going to be trained in asbestos. Anyone in construction, including even interior designers?? will have to get their asbestos training at cost of $300 before September 30 or be possibly fined up to $6000. Talk about another rort on the construction industry. Another piece of legislation that will do little but raise revenue.

Well look where lack of training got people in the home insulation scheme? I think having training to deal with asbestos is highly appropriate for anyone doing anything remotely to do with houses. I doubt for $300 the course will cover removal etc, its just a safety orientated course.

Yeah another impost on an industry, but with asbestos, you might not know for 10-20 years and then its too late. Better to be safe than sorry with it IMO. Plus far too many people know nothing about it and panic.

#15
switch11:12 am, 26 Jun 14

watto23 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

I read today that soon pretty much anybody is going to be trained in asbestos. Anyone in construction, including even interior designers?? will have to get their asbestos training at cost of $300 before September 30 or be possibly fined up to $6000. Talk about another rort on the construction industry. Another piece of legislation that will do little but raise revenue.

Well look where lack of training got people in the home insulation scheme? I think having training to deal with asbestos is highly appropriate for anyone doing anything remotely to do with houses. I doubt for $300 the course will cover removal etc, its just a safety orientated course.

Yeah another impost on an industry, but with asbestos, you might not know for 10-20 years and then its too late. Better to be safe than sorry with it IMO. Plus far too many people know nothing about it and panic.

I really doubt a $300 course is going to do anything more than train people to say “That looks like asbestos, run away!”

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