is a mineral fiber. It was present in many products used in home
construction, including acoustic ceilings.
use of asbestos in ceilings was banned in 1977. If your home was
built prior to 1977, there is a good chance that your ceilings
are the EPA guidlines for obtaining a sample and testing for asbestos.
can't tell whether a material contains asbestos simply by looking
at it, unless it is labeled. If in doubt, treat the material as
if it contains asbestos or have it sampled and analyzed by a qualified
professional. A professional should take samples for analysis,
since a professional knows what to look for, and because there
may be increased health risk if fibers are released. In fact,
if done incorrectly, sampling can be more hazardous than leaving
the material alone. Taking samples yourself is not recommended.
If you nevertheless choose to take the samples yourself, take
care not to release asbestos fibers into the air or onto yourself.
Material that is in good condition and wll not be disturbed (by
remodeling, for example) should be left alone. Only material that
is damaged or will be disturbed should be sampled. Anyone who
samples asbestos-containing materials should have as much information
as possible on the handling of asbestos before sampling, and at
a minimum, should observe the following procedures:
* Make sure no one else is in the room when sampling is done.
* Wear disposable gloves or wash hands after sampling.
* Shut down any heating or cooling systems to minimize the spread
of any released fibers.
* Do not disturb the material any more than is needed to take
a small sample.
* Place a plastic sheet on the floor below the area to be sampled.
* Wet the material using a fine mist of water containing a few
drops of detergent before taking the sample. The water/detergent
mist will reduce the release of asbestos fibers.
* Carefully cut a piece from the entire depth of the material
using, for example, a small knife, corer, or other sharp object.
Place the samll piece into a clean container (for example, a 35
mm film canister, small glass or plastic vial, or high quality
resealable plastic bag).
* Tightly seal the container after the sample is in it.
* Carefully dispose of the plastic sheet. Use a damp paper towel
to clean up any material on the outside of the container or around
the area sampled. Dispose of asbestos materials according to state
and local procedures.
* Label the container with an identification number and clearly
state when and where the sample was taken.
* Patch the sampled area with the smallest possible piece of duct
tape to prevent fiber release.
* Sent the sample to an EPA-approved laboratory for analysis.
The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has
a list of these laboratories. You can get this list form the Laboratory
Accreditation Administration, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD 20899 (telephone
301-975-4016). Your state or local health department may also
be able to help.
above information was obtained from the Environmental Protection
Agency's website. For more detailed information on Asbestos in
Your Home go to www.epa.gov and search for asbestos.
you have the results of the asbestos testing you can determine
whether you want to have your ceilings sealed and reprayed (thereby
encapsulating asbestos fibers) or removed by a licensed abatement
Synergy Environmental for
abatement. Synergy Environmental
can be reached at 800-439-9610.
Acoustical Drywall Services recomends this testing laboratory:
Micro-Analysis 3463 Ramona Ave, Suite 17 Sacramento CA 95826,
916-456-4892 Phone, 916-456-1082 Fax