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If you require air monitoring, please call our office in either Sydney or Melbourne

Asbestos air monitoring is primarily conducted in conjunction with asbestos removal as it is used to measure the effectiveness of the control measures in place. Additionally it is also used to measure an individual’s exposure to asbestos during work activities. There is another type of air monitoring that can be conducted and that is asbestos background air monitoring.

What is Background Asbestos Air Monitoring

Background air monitoring is conducted to measure the concentration of asbestos within the air during normal, everyday conditions (i.e. no asbestos related work is being undertaken). Asbestos background air monitoring is required prior to any friable asbestos removal works are undertaken.

There is also a growing trend with home owners that have had asbestos removed (or a neighbouring property has had asbestos removed) and are requesting asbestos background air monitoring be undertaken to ensure that there is no airborne asbestos within their house from the removal.

Although this method can be used to determine the concentration of airborne asbestos within the house, it is only specific to the time when the air monitoring is conducted. In addition to this, by the time the asbestos background air monitoring is conducted (sometimes months after the removal) any airborne asbestos fibres would have settled to the ground or on top of surfaces within the house. There are more suitable ways in determining if there is an asbestos risk within your house without conducting asbestos background air monitoring including:

  • Asbestos control air monitoring (during removal works) – If the asbestos removal is at your own property then this is the best way to determine the airborne asbestos concentration as a result from the removal. If the result is greater than 0.01 fibres/mL, the removalist’s control measures were insufficient and some additional clean up may be required. If the result is less than 0.01 fibres/mL, the control measures were successful as the asbestos was contained within the removal area.
  • Asbestos dust sampling – This is used to determine if there is any asbestos fibres within the settled dust throughout the house. A number of samples are required to ensure the entire house is covered and the samples are best taken from surfaces that have not been cleaned recently or are rarely disturbed. If asbestos removal was completed months ago then this method is more suitable to assessing if there are asbestos fibres within your house.

Need help with Asbestos Air Monitoring?

If your in Sydney or Melbourne and are concerned that there may be airborne asbestos fibres within your house and would like background air monitoring conducted, remember that the airborne asbestos concentration may be < 0.01 fibres/mL as the asbestos fibres may have settled. This method is best used in conjunction with asbestos dust sampling to determine the asbestos fibres within your house.

Author: Stuart Lumsden

Stuart Lumsden


A Bachelor of Forensic Science in Applied Chemistry from the University of Technology, Sydney, Stuart is a Property Risk Assessor who specialises in the area of Asbestos and Hazardous Materials.