The Four Types of Asbestos Air Monitoring

If your property was built before the national asbestos ban in 2003, you should consider conducting an asbestos assessment.

When disturbed, asbestos can release dangerous levels of fibres into the air, increasing the risk of exposure to anyone in the building. As a means of mitigation and control assessment, asbestos air monitoring is conducted to ensure the safety of workers and occupants in asbestos-containing environments.

This guide will discuss the four main types of asbestos air monitoring methods reputable companies use. 

Exposure (Personal) Air Monitoring

The asbestos exposure air monitoring assesses the individual’s breathing zone to determine their exposure to respirable asbestos fibres.

In this method, the person wears a personal air monitor that measures the concentration of asbestos fibres in the individual’s breathing zone for a certain period. The individual’s exposure level will be compared with the national exposure standard.

Background Air Monitoring

If you suspect your building contains asbestos, you will likely plan a removal. Before any asbestos-related activities are conducted, background air monitoring is performed.

Asbestos background air monitoring is used to establish a baseline level of asbestos fibres in the environment for comparison with future events. This method is conducted to identify fibre-release sources and pre-existing conditions.

Fibre Release/Leakage Monitoring

The leakage or fibre release monitoring is conducted to analyse the efficiency of control measures during the removal of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). During the process, also called control monitoring, the air is tested to measure respirable asbestos fibre levels during work.

This method is critical in identifying potential weaknesses in implemented measures and working methodology early. If elevated fibre levels are detected, corrective action must be taken immediately.

Clearance Air Monitoring

Removing asbestos from the property is not sufficient to consider the area safe. While you might think AMCs are no longer present, the risk of fibres in the air may deem the place unfit for reoccupation.

Clearance monitoring is performed to determine whether a property is completely clear of asbestos. This process determines the level of respirable fibres in the air following removal work. This is to ensure the area is guaranteed safe.

Clearance monitoring is usually done when preceded by the following:

  • Uncontrolled fibre release in asbestos work enclosure breach
  • Removal of bonded or non-friable asbestos
  • Identification of damaged asbestos-containing materials

Remember, the sooner you identify asbestos, the faster you can control it. As much as possible, you want to eliminate any risks posed by asbestos on your property, so contact Global Asbestos Audits for a comprehensive air monitoring routine.