Asbestos in Soils & Bulk Testing

Providing asbestos in soils / bulk sampling and testing services throughout the UK

What is asbestos in soils?

Asbestos in soil is normally immobile, but when asbestos contaminated land is disturbed, fibres can be released. Asbestos can make its way into the ground in many different ways, historic buildings which have been demolished which contained asbestos, the previous building use and fly-tipped waste. You many find asbestos broken up within the ground or buried in whole pieces.

The 2016 CAR-SOIL guidance which interprets the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 to Asbestos contaminated land and C&D Materials. The regulations require employers to reduce exposure and the spread of asbestos by carrying out risk assessments where works take place which involve asbestos.

How do we test for asbestos in soils?

Asbestos in Soils & Bulk Testing 1Prior to sampling all vegetation (ground level) needs to be cleared which should be undertaken using hand tools not power tools. Prior to sampling the area needs to be damped down to control any fibre release. Once sampling strategy has been decided i.e gridding out the land and depth of sampling using either trial pits, boreholes or trenches a 1kg (approx 1 litre) sample needs to be taken.  Depending on the agreed survey strategy will determine the amount of samples taken. If any ACMs are visible they are to be collected and given a unique sample reference and will be sent to an UKAS accredited lab alongside the soils samples.

While carrying out the site investigations air monitoring can be carried out depending on the site condition, weather and exposure risk. The air monitoring and survey results will go towards formulating our recommendations to the site.

How is the asbestos in soils analysed?

Stage 1: Initial Bulk Analysis – To determine if any visual fragments of Asbestos is present within the soil

Stage 2: Gravimetric analysis to determine percentage asbestos in soil by weight. Stage 2 will provide an overall weight % of asbestos present within the soil.

Stage 3: Fibre Counting and Sizing by Phase Contrast Optical Microscopy (PCOM) (Fine Fraction). This stage will provide a % of fibres present within the soil.

The above analysis will enable the client to:

  • Identify the total % of asbestos present within the soil
  • Identify the asbestos exposure to the contaminated land
  • Help with the determination of WAC (Waste Acceptance Criteria)

What is asbestos contaminated land bulk testing?

Where there is large amounts of visible bulk asbestos material to land, soil or waste it is usual to take a sample of the debris. This initial test is a convenient and cost effective way to confirm that the debris is indeed asbestos prior to undertaking further tests. This type of sampling is called bulk testing and analysis. The sampling method and testing / analysis is the same as general asbestos bulk testing and analysis. Once you have confirmed if the material is asbestos or not further testing and remediation can be considered.

The complete asbestos contaminated land, soil and waste solution

Oracle are fully Licensed and accredited for everything you will ever need. We provide a fast, efficient and full service to ensure all of your asbestos contamination challenges are dealt with in the most cost effective and professional way available.

For a fast & free asbestos quote call
0844 800 0801 or request your quote online.

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