Who Can Test For Asbestos


Table of Contents

It Depends

If it’s Clearance Testing for a school a government building, or a public building a CAC (Certified Asbestos Consultant) is required to do TEM air sampling.

If it’s a demolition or includes a bearing wall, A CAC should do the bulk testing. You will need the CAC j-card number when you apply for a building permit in most of the Bay Area.

If you want to be sure ALL the asbestos rules are followed, a CAC should do all asbestos testing. It’s important that your contractor follow the instructions given in your asbestos report.

Licensed general contractors can test the air after an asbestos abatement for worker safety. This asbestos test does not identify asbestos fibers; it identifies the amount of particles that are the same size as asbestos fibers. For worker safety this is considered safe enough, as most workers are masked.

We  offer Peace of Mind asbestos inspections if you have concerns that a previous contractor may not have been as careful with asbestos as you hoped.is required 

So, Who can Test for Asbestos

Asbestos Consultants and Technicians conducting asbestos sampling, overseeing, or planning are required to have certifications from Cal/OSHA for all projects of 100 square feet or more of surface area containing 0.1% of asbestos.

Asbestos Contractors licensed by CAL/OSHA can remove asbestos containing more than 0.1% and more than 100 square feet. 

The 3 - 5 - 7 Rule

Determining the number of samples to be taken.

    • 3 Samples if the specific material is <1000 square feet.
    • 5 Samples if the specific material is between 1000-5000 square feet.
    • 7 Samples if the specific material is >5000 square feet.

Asbestos was not used in buildings after 1981

Before beginning a remodeling project, or purchasing a building, asbestos testing should be done if the building was built before 1981.

Asbestos Testing And Removal Are Not DIY Projects

Professional asbestos testing is expensive for one popcorn ceiling, but consider how expensive something called a “major asbestos release” can become…

There was a house flipper client that hired the local guys that hang out at the coffee shop to do an asbestos demo. Well, those boys used no containment (the neighbors have an excellent legal case against the flipper) and demolished so much of the wrong stuff that there are now asbestos fibers mixed with the dirt below the foundation inside the building. As a result, several government agencies have become involved, the entire building may need to be taken down and hauled away to a toxic dump site. This flipper will probably lose everything. Currently, he’s trying to cover all of this up so he can sell this property to an unsuspecting buyer. 

If You Are Buying Real Estate, Always Check
The Local Building Department For Violations

We do not accept your collected samples of possible asbestos containing materials. Most labs won’t accept it, either. If the material does contain asbestos, we don’t want you to get fibers up your nose while collecting the sample.  To be sure there is or isn’t asbestos the correct number of samples needs to be taken. Along with all the correct materials being sampled.

We do accept contractor-collected asbestos samples taken for worker safety.

The laws that control asbestos bulk sample collection are lengthy. Take a look: How many asbestos samples will I need? The purpose of that link is not to guide you on how many bulk samples to take. Rather, it is to help you understand how many samples need to be taken. If you take the wrong number of samples using the wrong manner of collection you may have a problem with the building department, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, your neighbors, etc., etc.

Too often, sellers will rehab a building and cut corners. One of those corners, unfortunately, is asbestos testing. professional abatement, and asbestos clearance. Be sure – don’t be sorry. We can perform a Peace of Mind Asbestos inspections that will measure the air for asbestos fibers as well as take photos and measurements of probable asbestos containing materials. 

Finally, several very well qualified house flippers hire us routinely. And listen to our advice on cleaning up toxic stuff. Everyone wins. The homeowners that buy these residences and offices are sure they have a healthy environment. The escrow goes smoothly, and the buyers get value for the money paid. The cheap can turn out very expensive when dealing with asbestos.