Are the materials in your building contaminated with asbestos?

Sedexlab provides inspection, sampling and laboratory analysis services for materials that may contain asbestos. In Quebec, any material with an asbestos concentration of at least 0.1% is considered as an asbestos-containing material (ACM).

Asbestos is found in a multitude of construction materials such as plaster and cements, drywall, joint compounds, decorative finishes (stucco, popcorn ceilings), floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, as well as fire proofing.  When asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are damaged or “friable”, asbestos fibers can be released into the air and present a real risk to the health of building occupants and workers.

Asbestos Custom Testing

Limited Survey

Objective : Identify, locate and collect a limited number of samples from the suspect materials

 

  • Inspection of potential areas where asbestos can be found in your building
  • Limited number of samples taken
  • Establish reasonable expectations between the parties involved
  • Safe sampling of samples for laboratory analysis
Pre-Remediation

Objective: Identify and collect samples from the targeted materials only

 

  • As part of renovation / demolition work
  • Are you concerned about certain materials?
  • Are there stucco/popcorn ceilings in the house?
  • Safe sampling of samples for laboratory analysis
  • Proper restoration of the premises
Full-Building Survey

Objective: Identify, locate and collect the prescribed number of samples from all suspect materials

 

  • Room by room inspection
  • Meets the requirements of CNESST recommendations
  • Is the CSST, a financial institution or an insurer involved?
  • Safe sampling of samples for laboratory analysis
  • Proper restoration of the premises
Our Costs
$250.00 Includes inspection, report and first sample analyzed
$90.00 Per additional sample analyzed
$150.00 Per floor tile sample (vinyl, linoleum)

Additional costs may apply for larger projects

 

OUR TURNAROUND TIMES

Appointment : 1-2 days notice

(emergency appointments available)

Results : 1-2 days following sampling date

Schedule Sampling

what you obtain

A detailed expert report describing :

  • Identification and visual inspection of the building
  • The methodologies used
  • Confirmation of the presence or absence of asbestos in the materials collected
  • The type of asbestos and its concentration
  • Conclusions and recommendations on the management of asbestos-containing materials, if applicable.
  • General site layout with sample locations
  • Laboratory analysis reports
  • Site photographs

 

Do you prefer to sample yourself? *

1) Download the Customer Sampling PDF form (Échantillonnage-client)

2) Complete and attach the form to the samples.

Price: $ 145 for the first sample and $ 90 per additional sample analyzed

Results: 48 hours from receipt of samples.

* Sedexlab does not guarantee the origin of the samples and is not responsible for the sampling methods used.

Our work process

  • identification and location of materials likely to contain asbestos (MLCA)
  • Delimitation of areas where the materials are of the same composition (ZPSO in French), i.e., areas presenting similarities of works.
  • Development of a sampling strategy according to the determined ZPSOs and / or according to customer requirements
  • Review of existing data including general information, building plans and existing reports

 

The visual inspection of the building is a critical part of the survey. It is therefore recommended that Sedexlab be entrusted to conduct the inspection in order to ensure the proper identification of materials likely to contain asbestos.

  • Collection and identification of samples removed from suspect materials
  • Sampling locations will be plotted on a general site layout
  • Clean and safe restoration of the premises

 

Certain precautions should be taken when sampling materials likely to contain asbestos. It is therefore preferable that the samples be taken by qualified technicians in order to guarantee their origin and to avoid contaminating the surrounding environment.

 

Sampling methods

The sampling methods are based on the recommendations of the CNESST technical guide (in French) and the concept of areas with similarities of work (ZPSO in French). A ZPSO is an area of the building whose physical limits are defined by the identical materials that compose it. The materials of a ZPSO are defined by their uniformity in texture, appearance and composition as well as their similarities in method and time of installation or fabrication. The Guide defines the number of samples to be taken in a ZPSO in order to reveal, with a better probability rate, the presence or absence of asbestos in materials and products likely to contain it.

 

Table – Recommended number of samples according to the types of materials likely to contain asbestos (MLCA)

 

MLCA NUMBER OF SAMPLES PER ZPSO
Materials mixed on site:

(Ex.:plaster, stucco)

9 (at most)
Flocking: 2 (at each end)
Heat Insulating Materials:
Straight Section : 3/system
Irregular Section : 1/systèem
Junction/valve: 1
 Manufactured Materials:

(Ex.: tiles)

1
  • The samples are entrusted to a certified independent laboratory accredited by the IRSST and participating in an inter-laboratory quality control program.
  • Identification of the type of asbestos and evaluation of the concentration compliant to IRSST method 244-3 and ELAP 198.4 analytical procedure (floor tiles).
  • Any material with an asbestos concentration of at least 0.1% is considered as an asbestos containing material (L.R.Q., c. S 2.1, r.4, art. 1.1.12)
  • Sedexlab submits the samples to the laboratory using a procedure in which the sequence of analyzes ends with the first positive result. The remaining samples are therefore not analyzed and are presumed to contain a similar amount of asbestos.

  • identification and location of materials likely to contain asbestos (MLCA)
  • Delimitation of areas where the materials are of the same composition (ZPSO in French), i.e., areas presenting similarities of works.
  • Development of a sampling strategy according to the determined ZPSOs and / or according to customer requirements
  • Review of existing data including general information, building plans and existing reports

 

The visual inspection of the building is a critical part of the survey. It is therefore recommended that Sedexlab be entrusted to conduct the inspection in order to ensure the proper identification of materials likely to contain asbestos.

  • Collection and identification of samples removed from suspect materials
  • Sampling locations will be plotted on a general site layout
  • Clean and safe restoration of the premises

 

Certain precautions should be taken when sampling materials likely to contain asbestos. It is therefore preferable that the samples be taken by qualified technicians in order to guarantee their origin and to avoid contaminating the surrounding environment.

 

Sampling methods

The sampling methods are based on the recommendations of the CNESST technical guide (in French) and the concept of areas with similarities of work (ZPSO in French). A ZPSO is an area of the building whose physical limits are defined by the identical materials that compose it. The materials of a ZPSO are defined by their uniformity in texture, appearance and composition as well as their similarities in method and time of installation or fabrication. The Guide defines the number of samples to be taken in a ZPSO in order to reveal, with a better probability rate, the presence or absence of asbestos in materials and products likely to contain it.

 

Table – Recommended number of samples according to the types of materials likely to contain asbestos (MLCA)

 

MLCA NUMBER OF SAMPLES PER ZPSO
Materials mixed on site:

(Ex.:plaster, stucco)

9 (at most)
Flocking: 2 (at each end)
Heat Insulating Materials:
Straight Section : 3/system
Irregular Section : 1/systèem
Junction/valve: 1
 Manufactured Materials:

(Ex.: tiles)

1

  • The samples are entrusted to a certified independent laboratory accredited by the IRSST and participating in an inter-laboratory quality control program.
  • Identification of the type of asbestos and evaluation of the concentration compliant to IRSST method 244-3 and ELAP 198.4 analytical procedure (floor tiles).
  • Any material with an asbestos concentration of at least 0.1% is considered as an asbestos containing material (L.R.Q., c. S 2.1, r.4, art. 1.1.12)
  • Sedexlab submits the samples to the laboratory using a procedure in which the sequence of analyzes ends with the first positive result. The remaining samples are therefore not analyzed and are presumed to contain a similar amount of asbestos.

Our Approach

  • Aims to establish reasonable expectations between the parties involved
  • Offers financially realistic solutions
  • Expert reports written in layperson’s terms
  • Clear and well laid out conclusions and recommendations
  • High priority on cleanliness, safety and courtesy at our clients’ premises
  • Impartiality, integrity and professionalism in all aspects of our work

FAQ

The health risks concern everyone. Of course, the presence of asbestos will negatively affect the value of your property. Many buyers, financial institutions and insurance companies are now aware of the risks associated with asbestos and any other product harmful to the health of building occupants. In addition, potential buyers often consider renovating or demolishing a property following the purchase of a property. This work could potentially release asbestos fibers into the air and present a real risk to the health of building occupants.

In order to protect yourself against the risks associated with latent defects and to help you negotiate the selling price of the property, it is important to seriously consider a professional inspection for the presence of asbestos during the process of selling the property.

In 2015, asbestos remained the leading cause of death for workers, active and retired. This rate is ten times higher in Quebec than elsewhere in the world. It is today’s construction workers who are most at risk.

Many people believe that only older buildings are likely to contain asbestos, which is not true.  Generally, buildings constructed before 1990 are the most likely to contain asbestos. Asbestos was used as an insulating material, in floor tiles, acoustic ceiling tiles, in plaster and decorative finishes such as stucco, in hot water tanks and pipes, in heating ducts, roof shingles and siding.

If you are the owner of a building dating 1990 and earlier and wish to do renovations, it would be important to seriously consider asbestos testing especially before any renovation or demolition work is carried out, regardless of the year of construction of the building. Asbestos fibers released into the air during construction pose a serious health risk to those who breathe them.

In this context, a targeted pre-remediation survey may be recommended. This type of survey helps to establish reasonable expectations between the parties involved by specifically targeting the materials that will be the subject of future remediation work.

Materials and products likely to contain asbestos are those which have incorporated asbestos into their composition during periods of their manufacture.

 

The CNESST’s guide for the safe management of asbestos states that:

 

  • Gypsum board and joint compounds manufactured after January 1, 1980 are considered exempt of asbestos. However, a buffer period of an additional 2 years is added to allow for possible storage time before using these materials.
  • Heat Insulating Materials present in a building or civil engineering work constructed before May 20, 1999 are presumed to contain asbestos.
  • Flocking (friable materials applied by spraying to cover a surface) present in a building or civil engineering work constructed before February 15, 1990 is presumed to contain asbestos.
  • All other coatings and materials that are likely to contain asbestos, regardless of their year of construction, are presumed asbestos-containing materials.

 

Here is a non-comprehensive list of materials that may contain asbestos:

 

  • Floor coverings, such as vinyl and linoleum tiles
  • Decorative finishes (stucco, popcorn ceilings)
  • Plaster and cements on walls and ceilings
  • Ceiling tiles / suspended ceiling panels
  • Drywall
  • Joint compounds
  • Insulation materials (vermiculite)
  • Heat insulating materials on mechanical (piping) and ventilation (ducts) elements
  • Flocking / fire proofing

Asbestos testing is generally requested in residential and commercial real estate transactions or financing, as well as prior to the renovation or demolition of a building. Buildings constructed before 1990 are at greatest risk of containing asbestos. It is therefore recommended to proceed with asbestos testing in these facilities when suspect materials are identified, especially if they are damaged or friable.  Many people believe that only older buildings are likely to contain asbestos, which is not true. It is therefore important to clearly identify the materials likely to contain asbestos, especially before renovation or demolition work is carried out, regardless of the year of construction of the building, in order to avoid releasing fibers into the air, where they could be inhaled by occupants and construction workers.

Asbestos is a well-known carcinogen. When asbestos-containing materials (ACM) are damaged or “friable”, asbestos fibers can be released into the air and present a real risk to the health of building occupants and workers. The presence or absence of asbestos fibers in building materials cannot be determined solely on the basis of visual inspection. Only the sampling and laboratory analysis of suspect materials, according to current regulations, allow this. It is therefore important for a buyer or a building owner to entrust the inspection and sampling of materials likely to contain asbestos to recognized professionals who can also guide you in the safe management of these materials.

The context will often dictate the nature of the testing. In the context of renovation work, the contractor will want, for example, to target a suspect material such as a stucco/popcorn ceiling or vinyl floor tiles. While in a real estate transaction, a buyer might want to know if there is asbestos in all the materials that may contain it before buying the property. It is very important to call us in order for us to fully understand the context. This will allow us to recommend testing that suits you best.

It all depends on the type of material identified. For example, a product that would have been manufactured in a factory such as a floor tile or an acoustic ceiling tile would require only one sample, unless the area is very large or the floor is comprised of more than one type of tile. For materials mixed on site, such as plasters and decorative finishes (stucco), the asbestos concentration can vary greatly from one place to another in the work area.  In such cases, the more samples we analyze, the more our level of certainty of the absence or presence of asbestos will increase. The CNESST recommends a maximum of 9 samples per zone presenting a similarity of work (ZPSO in French). By contacting us, we will be able to fully understand the scope of the project. This will allow us to recommend the number of samples that best suits your situation.

There is no law or regulation that requires you to remove asbestos-containing materials (ACM). However, if you wish to leave it in place, we strongly suggest that you make sure that it is in good condition and that it does not release fibers into the air.  In the event that you are planning to do renovations and wish to dispose of ACMs, it is highly recommended to take certain precautions beforehand and to hire a firm specializing in the removal of ACMs to avoid contaminating your home and its occupants.

There is a test specifically designed to verify the quality of air potentially contaminated with material containing asbestos. This test consists of sampling and analyzing the air in a building to determine if the concentration of asbestos fibers meets current standards. Contact one of our professionals to find out more.

Since our technicians are experienced and use meticulous and safe sampling methods, you will have nothing to worry about when it comes to your health during sampling work.

The human health effects of prolonged and unsafe asbestos exposure are well documented. Asbestos fibers are easily inhaled and transported to the lower part of the lungs, where they can cause pulmonary fibrosis (asbestosis) as well as changes in the lining of the chest cavity (pleura). These diseases can lead to reduced respiratory function and even death. Long-term inhalation of asbestos fibers also increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. The people who are most likely to have asbestos-related health problems are those who are exposed to high concentrations of asbestos, those who are exposed to it for prolonged periods of time and those who are exposed to asbestos more frequently.

Steel, aluminum, glass, plastic, concrete, natural stone, marble, sandstone and wood, among others, are construction materials considered to be asbestos-free.