Asbestos removal is a difficult process and, if not handled competently, it may stir up fibers and cause them to become airborne. Only a trained fibrologist using a high-powered microscope can definitively determine if airborne particles are asbestos or another form of fiber. However, home sampling kits can help you determine if further testing may be necessary.
EPA and OSHA Inspection Method
Using a sampling canister, draw a sample of air from the area you wish to test. Sampling canisters work by drawing a fixed amount of air through a filter.
Examine collected particles under a polarized light microscope. A fibrologist's professional training is required to differentiate asbestos fibers from other airborne fibers.
If asbestos is detected, calculate its concentration in the air. Under the microscope, count the number of asbestos particles caught on the filter. Using that number and the fixed sample size of air measured in Step 1, determine the number of particles per liter of air.
Check concentration levels against EPA or OSHA standards.
Home Test Kit Method
Draw an air sample into the canister provided in your test kit. Do not sample too much air and make sure to draw a full canister's worth.
Package and send your sample to the address provided by the testing company. A fibrologist will examine your sample filter for traces of asbestos.
Await results returned by mail.