Asbestos testing Toronto a simple (but complete) guide

Asbestos Testing Toronto A Simple But Complete Guide

Asbestos testing in Toronto a (simple but complete) guide

Asbestos Sampling Picture

Anyone can collect asbestos samples and submit them to a lab for analysis, no qualifications are required or needed except the lab and lab technicians must be qualified to test the samples.

This testing guide does not intend to replace a DSS report but its objective is to help owners and contractors take asbestos samples for minor renovations and for information purposes.

Asbestos testing is part of a designated substance survey report and is required and mandatory prior to demolition or large renovations on properties older than 1986 as per Ontario regulation 278-05 if not sure if you need one give us a call.

Suspect materials that often contain embedded asbestos fibers:

  • Plaster
  • Drywall
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Popcorn texture
  • Vinyl tile
  • Linoleum flooring
  • Pipe wrap
  • Duct wrap
  • Older Ceiling Tiles
  • Under radiator covers
  • Boiler insulation
  • Vermiculite
  • Mastic or glue used for tile flooring.


How to collect an asbestos sample and submit it for bulk analysis.

Laboratories do not require large samples since they are tested under a microscope (see video at bottom)

You will need:

  1. Zip lock bags

Picture Of Ziplock Bag

2.Spray bottle with water and soap.

Picture Of Spray Bottle

3. Utility Knife

Picture Of Utility Knife

4. Pen to write sampling info on zip lock bag
5. In certain cases like vermiculite collection you will require a respirator with P-100 filters readily available at all big box stores.

Picture Of P100 Respirator

Samples for drywall, plaster, popcorn texture, pipe wrap, duct wrap, boiler insulation: mist wet and cut a portion of the suspected material. Size of a toonie or 2 square inches and insert it to a zip lock bag and write type of sample, its location and date.

Asbestos Popcorn Sampling PictureAsbestos Insulation Sampling Picture

Sampling drywall joint compound for asbestos (mud used to finish drywall): mist wet and score and scrape a corner of drywall (where corner bead was taped) see picture.

Asbestos Drywall Joint Compound

Sampling vermiculite insulation for asbestos fibers
3 Samples are necessary to avoid false positives. Respirator with P-100 filters is recommended when sampling vermiculite insulation along with misting with soap and water to avoid dust. Fill 1 cup of vermiculite in each bag.

Picture Of Asbestos Vermiculite Bag

Sampling vinyl tile flooring for asbestos fibers

When sampling vinyl tile flooring is important to break a small piece that also includes the mastic or glue used on to installing tile.

Asbestos Mastic

Sampling linoleum flooring for asbestos
Often asbestos fibers found are on paper under pad of linoleum flooring. Always sample both.

Picture Of Asbestos Linoleum

Submit samples to lab for asbestos fiber identification and count.
Toronto has many laboratories that test for asbestos, in this example the lab we use is EMSL Canada located by the Toronto Pearson Airport.

Emsl Lab Canada

While you can mail it, faster turnaround can be done by taking the samples directly. An asbestos chain of custody can be pre filled on their website or on location.

Asbestos Chain Of Custody Picture

How to fill asbestos chain of custody: Enter your contact information the turnaround time for sampling (24hrs is the most popular, 2 weeks the cheapest), next you want to check PLM Bulk (reporting limit) PLM EPA 600/R-93/116 (<1%) see picture bellow.

Asbestos Chain Of Custody Picture

How the Laboratories test your bulk sample for asbestos

Asbestos air testing and collection should be done only by experienced professionals.
If you require any assistance with any sampling, bulk or air, give us a call, you will be glad you did.

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