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Asbestos Air Monitoring Melbourne

Asbestos air monitoring is a legal requirement for all friable asbestos removal works and should also be used for any bonded asbestos removals where:

  • The works are indoors;
  • The works may impact on others (for example if a minimum 10 metre exclusion zone cannot be established); or
  • It is requested by neighbouring properties or other stakeholders.

Sometimes people also request air monitoring as an air quality check to allay concerns about a recent disturbance to asbestos materials or to assess a sites safety for airborne asbestos fibres.

Greenlight offer a fast 24-hour asbestos air monitoring service.  Our consultants are tertiary qualified, licensed asbestos assessors. All sample analysis is carried out in a NATA accredited laboratory. An asbestos clearance certificate can be added in to your air monitoring run for low cost package rates.

For our industry partners, with regular air monitoring required, we have even more competitive scheduled rates available. Begin a partnership with Greenlight and request a schedule today. You will be provided with a custom link for easy online bookings anytime.

We are always happy to talk over your work site and answer questions in detail on 03 9048 4411.

Control air monitoring is usually carried out on the boundaries of asbestos removal works

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What is Asbestos Air Monitoring?

Asbestos air monitoring measures the amount of respirable asbestos fibres in the air. The term 'respirable' means that the fibres are of a size and shape that can be deposited within the lungs. Air monitoring is usually carried out during or following asbestos removal works or as an air quality check.

While air monitoring usually shows that the respirable fibres are within the guideline levels in most cases (<0.01 fibres/mL), it is a proven way to put peoples minds at ease about asbestos removal works or asbestos safety. This can be very useful if for example there are concerned neighbours, adjacent workers or people that will re-occupy the asbestos removal areas following works.  It may also be a legal requirement in some circumstances.

When is Air Monitoring Required?

Air monitoring for asbestos is a legal requirement in some circumstances, for example if:

  1. Friable asbestos is being removed;
  2. Asbestos removal is being carried out indoors; or
  3. Asbestos removal works may impact on others.

Greenlight are a specialist occupational hygiene company and will provide NATA accredited analysis of all samples. For our regular clients, we have industry competetive rates and can provide asbestos clearance certificates in combination with air monitoring as required at no additional cost.

Can Air Monitoring Results be Given in 'Real Time'?

The scene is familiar: I walk up to one of our trusty asbestos air monitoring pumps and there is a man looking at the numbers on the front panel with a worried frown. The number ticks up from 314 to 315. His eyebrows shoot up. "Those are minutes" I tell him. Understanding breaks as he nods his head. His eyes do not move from the monitor.

Currently there is not an easy or affordable way to measure airborne asbestos fibres in real time - the main problem is that the equipment that will do that is too costly.  Instead we, as an industry, use a process where air is drawn over a membrane filter which is then analysed in a NATA accredited laboratory. Results are mostly given on a next day or same day basis depending on the time of completion.

There is some new tech just around the corner that will change all this (Artificial Intelligence combined with micro-photography!) but for now the industry cannot deliver results in real time.

What are the different kinds of air monitoring for asbestos?

Air monitoring for asbestos may be carried out for four main reasons:

Background Air Monitoring

This kind of air monitoring may be carried out as an air quality check or to set a baseline of airborne asbestos fibres. Some times this is carried out because people have a specific concern they would like assessed. For example a residential client we had recently found asbestos fragments in the sub-floor of his house. He wanted to know if this would affect the air quality in his home.

Control Air Monitoring

The orange dots show the location of control asbestos air monitors on the boundaries of removal works. The red area is the asbestos removal zone and the blue area is the exclusion zone.

This kind of air monitoring is carried out during asbestos removal works to measure the effectiveness of the controls used. For bonded asbestos removal works, the controls are usually an exclusion zone with signage warning people at any entrances to the work area.

Control air monitoring is usually a public relations exercise to prove that works are safe, however it is also mandatory if friable asbestos is being removed, if works are carried out indoors or if works may affect others in the vicinity.

Clearance Air Monitoring

Clearance air monitoring is carried out within the asbestos removal area following works to prove that the area is safe to re-occupy. Clearance air monitoring is a legal obligation for any friable asbestos removal works or can be used to provide future occupants of the area with peace of mind.

Personal Exposure Monitoring

Exposure monitoring is carried out by fitting air monitors to representative workers with the cassette placed within the workers breathing zone. Greenlight use light-weight pumps fitted with a belt to the worker for maximum comfort and ease of work. Usually this kind of monitoring is carried out as part of a companies due diligence if asbestos exposure is a concern at a particular workplace. For example if workers work beneath an unsealed asbestos roof.

 Here is some typical asbestos cement sheeting - note the white bundled fibres poking out of the cement matrix. Each of these bundles contains  thousands  of respirable asbestos fibres.

Here is some typical asbestos cement sheeting - note the white bundled fibres poking out of the cement matrix. Each of these bundles contains thousands of respirable asbestos fibres.

Who Can Perform Air Monitoring?

The regulations in Victoria require that a 'competent person' carry out these works, but what does that mean? The regulations very loosely define this as someone familiar with the use of equipment, asbestos hazards and measurement techniques with appropriate training and experience.

Air monitoring for asbestos is at essence an occupational hygiene assessment and as such should only be carried out by trained professionals. Make sure your consultant can tick these boxes as a minimum:

  1. They have a tertiary qualification in science, engineering or occupational hygiene;
  2. They work for an occupational hygiene company such as Greenlight;
  3. This one's important - they are not a former or current asbestos removalist (conflict of interest and unqualified); and ideally,
  4. They have been issued with an asbestos assessors license by one of the states (note: currently Victoria does not issue asbestos assessors licenses, however most other states do).

The asbestos air monitoring report should clearly state the qualifications of the technician towards the front of the document as well as containing a NATA accredited laboratory analysis report.

Why Choose Greenlight?

Choosing Greenlight for your air monitoring will have these benefits:

  1. Qualified independent air monitoring by licensed asbestos assessors;
  2. Industry competitive rates;
  3. Clearance certificates provided with air monitoring at no extra cost;
  4. A professional presence on site to represent the sites asbestos safety concerns where needed.

Sometimes handling stakeholder concerns is best done by an independent party. Greenlight are experienced at resolving stakeholder concerns from residential environments to commercial or industrial workplaces.

Training & Qualifications

Our air monitoring team are trained and qualified to meet the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004  and Work Safe regulations 2017. All consultants are

  • Licensed asbestos assessors;
  • Tertiary qualified in either science, engineering or occupational hygiene;
  • Members of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists; and
  • Members of the Safety Institute of Australia.

Greenlight can also provide asbestos clearance certificates, pre-demolition or refurbishment asbestos registers and next-day asbestos testing available with couriers provided or samples collected as needed.

Make a Booking, or call us on 03 9048 4411 and book in your asbestos inspection in Melbourne today.

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