Asbestos was used a lot in older homes, but it can also be found in newer homes as well. As a homeowner, you may be wondering if there is asbestos in your home. You can take the samples yourself and send them to a laboratory certified to test asbestos samples if you don't want to spend the money to have a professional technician come into your home to take the samples. However, you still have to take the same precautions to protect yourself against being exposed asbestos fibers that a professional does if you want to stay safe. Here is the personal protective equipment you should wear while collecting asbestos samples around your house.
The breathing mask you use while sanding wood is not good enough to protect you from breathing in the thin asbestos fibers. You need a mask with HEPA filter cartridges that will prevent even the smallest of fibers from getting into your lungs. You should wear the mask while collecting the samples and while cleaning up afterwards to get the maximum amount of protection.
Asbestos fibers can cause severe irritation if it gets into your eyes. You should obtain a pair of protective eye wear like wrap-around safety glasses with vents on the side to protect your eyes, or you can use a full face shield (just make sure the shield fits comfortable over your breathing mask.
The asbestos fibers can become ingrained into your normal clothing, and then those fibers can get transferred to other clothing and people when you wash and handle the clothing. To avoid contaminating your clothing, you should purchase disposable suits you can wear over your street clothes.
When you finish collecting the samples, you should place the disposable clothing into a thick garbage bag that you can seal and throw in the garbage.
You will need to wear rubber gloves so you don't get the fibers on your hands and wrists. You can easily transfer asbestos fibers on your skin to your face later if you sneeze or scratch your nose.
The gloves should be thrown into the plastic garbage bag with the disposable suit.
Head & Shoe Covers
Your hair should be protected so asbestos fibers in the air don't settle in your hair. The fibers can travel down to your mouth and nose areas while showering after you've finished collecting samples.
Shoe covers should also be worn to prevent fibers from getting on your shoes. You could end up tracking the fibers all through your home.
Both coverings should also be disposed of with the suit and gloves after you have finished collecting your samples.
For professional asbestos testing, contact a company such as Argus Pacific Inc.