Sampling and Submitting Bulk Samples for Asbestos Analysis

When taking samples of bulk materials for the purpose of asbestos analysis, there are certain precautions that should be taken by the sampler in order to avoid unnecessary exposure to fibres which may prove to be asbestos. The following is the EPA recommended procedure for the safe handling of potentially hazardous bulk samples:

  • Material should be sampled when areas are not in use or not occupied, if possible.
  • If multiple samples are to be taken, wear a NIOSH approved respirator. If only a single sample is to be collected and a respirator is not available, avoid creating or breathing dust by using very careful sampling practices.
  • Preferably use a small “zip-lock” bag to contain the sample. The container should be clean and dry.
  • Using the “zip-lock” bag, the sample can be taken by using a clean knife to cut out a small piece of material about 2 square inches or 2 tablespoons. Be sure to penetrate any paint or protective coating and to sample all layers of the material
  • Tightly close the sample bag and wipe the exterior with a damp cloth to remove any material which may have adhered to it during sampling.
  • Label the sample bag identifying the structure, the date the sample was taken, the specific location of the sample in the room or structure, and who took the sample.
  • Enclose all samples in a large “zip-lock” bag along with an itemized list of the samples. Deliver by courier or by hand to a NVLAP accredited laboratory, such as Pinchin's Mississauga Laboratories, for asbestos analysis along with the Asbestos Bulk Sample Chain of Custody Form.