How to collect a sample for contaminated soil testing
You should always be careful when taking samples of soil you suspect contains asbestos. Here’s our easy step-by-step guide:
- Always use a P2 disposable dust mask when dealing with suspect materials. You can buy these at a hardware store.
- Wet the soil to suppress dust release.
- Carefully collect a sample using hand tools. The sample should be around 100g. Please note that larger soil samples offer no benefit and take longer to test.
- Place the soil sample in a click lock plastic bag. You can find these at any supermarket.
- Clean your hand tools thoroughly with a wet wipe then seal the wipe in its own click lock bag.
- Double bag your soil sample in a second sealable plastic bag.
- Stay away from the area until testing is complete.
- Complete this form, click “Get printable version” and print out the resulting page. Then put the form and the double-bagged soil sample in an envelope.
- If you can, bring your contaminated soil sample in person to Airsafe at 93 Beattie Street, Balmain NSW (call us first on 1300 888 338 to let us know you’re coming).
- If you can’t bring your sample in person, contact us make other arrangements.
Asbestos in soil
If your soil sample does turn out to contain asbestos, you’ll need expert help from an asbestos consultant like Airsafe.
At sites where asbestos has been used as a building material, it’s common to find that it has contaminated the surrounding soil. There can be a number of reasons for this, but most commonly, it’s because the correct precautions haven’t been followed during previous construction or demolition works.
Whenever asbestos removal works are carried out, the soil at the site must be tested for asbestos as part of the clearance inspection process, and a soil contamination report prepared. However, it’s always possible that when the site is excavated further, suspicious material will be uncovered deeper in the soil and a further soil assessment is required.
Soil assessments and advice from Airsafe
If you make an unexpected find in the soil during demolition or renovation works, you should contact Airsafe immediately on 1300 888 338 so we can take samples of the soil, test it for asbestos containing materials, and make recommendations if asbestos or other hazardous materials do turn out to be present.
We know from extensive experience that these unexpected finds in soil can put an entire building site on hold. We’ll get a consultant out to conduct contaminated soil testing as soon as possible – usually the same day – so you can get back to work.
Airsafe is qualified to assess soil for classification as virgin excavated natural material (VENM). VENM is non-contaminated waste that can be re-used easily on other sites. Airsafe can create a VENM report certifying that we have assessed a batch of soil as VENM.