Asbestos Identification in Bulk Samples
Analysis of building and related materials (including surface wipes and dust samples) to check whether there is any asbestos present in the sample. Typical turn around time is 1 working day from sample receipt at the laboratory*.
Presence/Absence in Soil
Analysis of a 100 mL soil sample to determine if asbestos is present or absent in the sample. Typical turn around time is 1 working day from sample receipt at the laboratory*. If asbestos is detected as being present, the quantity of asbestos can be determined using the BRANZ semi-quantitative method or Western Australian quantitative method as described below.
Asbestos Identification in Air Samples
Air sampling involves a known quantity of air being drawn through a membrane filter, catching any airborne fibres on the filter in the process. The fibres captured on the filter can be seen and counted using a microscope, and on request further identification of the fibres present can be arranged using a Scanning Electron Microscope. This test is typically used for monitoring health and safety on building and demolition sites where asbestos containing materials are known to be present, and samples can be processed urgently (within 2-4 hours of arrival at the laboratory*) with prior arrangement.
Asbestos Identification In Soil Samples
Semi-Quantitative Analysis (BRANZ Guideline)
BRANZ (the Building Research Association of New Zealand) lead the development of the New Zealand Guidelines for Assessing and Managing Asbestos in Soil (2017). The Worksafe document 'Management and Removal of Asbestos Approved Code of Practice' references the use of the BRANZ guidelines (Part D, Section 19 - Asbestos-Contaminated Sites).
This method requires a 500 mL soil sample which is separated into 3 fractions by particle size; >10 mm, 2-10 mm and <2 mm. Each fraction is weighed, and the asbestos fibres or materials in each fraction are then identified, extracted, and weighed so that the asbestos present in each fraction can be expressed as a weight of asbestos relative to the overall weight of sample.
Turn around time for this method is 3 working days* from sample receipt at the lab.
Quantitative Asbestos (Western Australian Guideline)
This method references the Western Australian Guideline for Assessment, Remediation and Management of Asbestos-Contaminated Sites in Western Australia (May 2009). It was referenced in New Zealand's interim asbestos guidelines in 2016, but with the publication of BRANZ guidelines in 2017 many now regard it as having been superseded by the BRANZ semi-quantitative method.
The Western Australian method requires a 10L bucket of soil to be collected. A 500 mL subsample is taken, and separated into 3 fractions; >7 mm, 2-7 mm and <2 mm. Each fraction is weighed, and the asbestos fibres or materials in each fraction are then identified, extracted, and weighed so that the asbestos present in each fraction can be expressed as a weight of asbestos relative to the overall weight of sample.
Turn around time for this method is 5 working days* from sample receipt at the lab.
* Note On Turn Around Time
For samples delivered to the Hamilton lab location, results will take an additional working day to allow for the sample to be sent to the regional laboratory with best capacity to carry out the testing. Asbestos testing is not currently undertaken at the Hamilton location.