Asbestos Air Monitoring and Testing | Asbestos Management


Asbestos Air Monitoring

Our team of trusted asbestos analysts all hold the BOHS P403 and P404 module proficiency certificates and trained under our in-house UKAS ISO 17025 accredited procedure for both Asbestos Air Sampling and Asbestos Fibre Counting.

In addition, our asbestos analysts are all participants in the Regular Interlaboratory Counting Exchanges (RICE) Scheme which is administered and managed by the HSL for UKAS accredited asbestos consultancies providing air monitoring services. 

What is asbestos air monitoring?

Asbestos air monitoring (also known as asbestos fibre air monitoring or asbestos air testing) is used to detect the level of asbestos fibres within the atmosphere. By drawing air through a filter over a predetermined period of time, airborne particles are collected and prepared for examination by our qualified asbestos analysts. 

All of our asbestos air analysts drive fit for purpose vans which double as UKAS approved mobile laboratories, allowing paperwork such as re-occupation certificates to be printed and issued on-site immediately following works, saving our clients time and money. All of our analysts have the standard Lucion Air monitoring kit which inclusive of a Phase Contrast Microscope, air sampling pumps and electronic tablet for recording data into our online compliance management system NexGen.

Our trained analysts use handheld tablets to record all specific information and photographs where required for all stages of the works. This data is recorded in our award-winning, Cyber Essentials Plus certified, compliance management system NexGen. Our NexGen mobile app generates HSG 248 compliant air monitoring documentation automatically and allows our clients to access their reports as live documents once the analyst has synchronised their data. Paperwork/certificates can be printed off on-site within the analyst’s van, which doubles as a mobile laboratory.

Do I need asbestos air monitoring services?

Asbestos air monitoring assesses the concentration of airborne asbestos fibre levels that may have been generated by the asbestos removal process or if asbestos-containing material is suspected to have been distributed, affecting the surrounding air. Asbestos air testing can be conducted:

  • To confirm that an appropriate level of personal protection equipment (PPE) or respiratory protective equipment (RPE) has been chosen. This can be achieved by undertaking personal air monitoring or sampling on individuals where the works are being carried out
  • To check the effectiveness of dust suppression methods used during the asbestos removal process
  • To provide data for employee exposure records

As one of the four stages of acquiring your Clearance Certificate, required to reoccupy your building, the asbestos air test is essential to determine that the levels of asbestos fibres are safe for occupation.

What asbestos air monitoring services are available?

We offer a full range of asbestos air testing services that can be performed on-site, including:

  • Four stage asbestos clearance testing to HSG 248 (The Analysts Guide) including work area/enclosure visual examination, clearance indicator air test, reassurance air testing and decontamination unit reassurance air testing as required
  • Reassurance air testing to HSG 248 (The Analysts Guide)
  • Leak air testing to HSG 248 (The Analysts Guide)
  • Background air testing to HSG 248 (The Analysts Guide)
  • Personal air testing to HSG 248 (The Analysts Guide)
  • Boundary monitoring during remediation of external ground contamination to HSG 248 (The Analysts Guide)

We are also able to undertake airborne asbestos fibre determination and fibre counting using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) providing a greater level of accuracy than the methods used by a majority of UKAS ISO 17025 asbestos laboratories. This is particularly effective in instances where our clients require categorical confirmation of contamination.

What are my responsibilities?

If you are the duty holder, you are required to manage your asbestos risks in line with the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012

Lucion Environmental is UKAS accredited and the UK’s market leader in asbestos management. Our asbestos management consultants provide a number of support services including; writing specification documents for asbestos removal, assist with the procurement of Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractors (LARC), manage the asbestos removal process, and audit contractors and works conducted.

Get in touch with our team today: Contact US

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Looking for greater reassurance?

A measured volume of air is drawn through a 25mm diameter filter, which is examined under a microscope. The respirable fibres on a measured area of the filter are counted using phase contrast optical microscopy (PCOM), and the concentration of the fibres in the air is calculated.

The full method is described in detail within Appendix 1 of HSG 248. Fibre discrimination is both possible and allowed according to HSG 248, Appendix 1, Para A1.6 which states that “fibres with widths greater than 1 um may show optical properties that are inconsistent with asbestos and it is permissible to eliminate these fibres from the count … Discrimination against non-asbestos fibres should only take place after the initial total count”. As with all analysis, discrimination is dependent on the techniques available.

All air monitoring data and analysis is in-putted into our Online Risk Management System NexGen from site which enables us to not only leave hard copy documents on site, but also email copies to any and all of the interested third parties such as building occupiers, site foremen and facilities managers at the click of a button, prior to leaving site.

Air monitoring by phase contrast optical microscopy (PCOM), commonly to a limit of detection of 0.01 f/cm3,  is inadequate for detecting fibre asbestos concentrations experienced through normal occupation but remains the favoured pragmatic technique for detecting the higher concentrations produced when asbestos is disturbed.

For clients who require greater levels of accuracy and reassurance, we are also able to undertake airborne asbestos fibre determination and fibre counting using SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) and EDS (Energy dispersive spectroscopy)

Find out more about SEM

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