How to test for asbestos

asbestos testing laboratory

At Airsafe, one of the questions we most often get asked by householders and businesses is "I've found something suspicious in my house. How do I test it to find out if it's asbestos?"

The short answer is: you can't test for asbestos yourself. There's no way of telling with the naked eye whether a substance is asbestos. Nor is there anything you can buy to do an asbestos test at home. So-called "asbestos testing kits", sold in hardware stores, are just a set of tools for collecting asbestos samples, with a voucher to get testing done in a laboratory.

Asbestos testing in a laboratory

Laboratory testing is simply the only way to tell if something is or isn't asbestos. Fortunately, laboratory testing is easy to organise: all you need to do is collect a sample and get it to a NATA accredited laboratory like Airsafe's. See instructions on collecting a sample for asbestos testing.

Our laboratory will examine the asbestos using a process known as Polarised Light Microscopy (PLM). We'll get back to you quickly with a definitive answer. If the sample does turn out to be asbestos, we'll give you helpful advice on what to do next.

Asbestos is too serious to take chances with. Get the experts involved!

Back to news

Related articles
corrugated asbestos roof

Asbestos roofs: Know the risks

22nd February 2019

Airsafe recommends taking strong precautions with asbestos roofs, due to their brittleness, high asbestos content, and exposure to weather.

full article

asbestos inspector

Pre-purchase asbestos inspections

14th June 2017

Find out how to protect yourself and your family against asbestos-related illness before you buy a house for renovation or redevelopment.

full article

loose fill asbestos insulation

Loose fill asbestos insulation in NSW homes: What you need to know

21st August 2016

You've probably seen media stories about the discovery of loose fill asbestos insulation in a number of New South Wales homes, and the State Government's decision to offer to buy and demolish those homes.

full article

wax crayons

Asbestos found in imported buildings products and children's crayons

24th February 2016

While it's illegal to manufacture or import products containing asbestos, the material has been found recently in products imported from China.

full article

drawing of woman surrounded by products containing asbestos

6 household items that could contain asbestos

1st December 2015

Despite its prominence in Australian news, very few people realise just how common the use of asbestos once was.

full article