Asbestos in Soil

Contaminated Soil

Asbestos in soil and other hazardous materials has the potential to contaminate Made Ground, Ballast, Aggregate, Rail Ballast, Slurry and Sediment.

Asbestos Containing Materials

These can include the historical demolition of structures that contained Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs), illegal dumping of waste, the nature of activities that were previously carried out on the site, and inadequate attempts to clean up areas suspected of contamination.

Asbestos can manifest in different forms like loose fill, insulation, lagging, asbestos insulating board (AIB), and cement.

Asbestos Fibres

Sometimes, asbestos fibres may not be visible to the naked eye, yet they could still endanger people in the vicinity and spread if not properly addressed.

Asbestos in Soil
Asbestos contaminated soil

Testing Methods for Asbestos Contamination in Ground and Soil

Understanding the Importance and Processes

Asbestos found in made ground and soils is typically immobile, but when the soil is disturbed, there is a higher chance of releasing fibres that can pose risks to both individuals and the environment.

In traditional building surveys, there is usually no need for a detailed quantitative assessment of asbestos. Instead, regulations typically focus on identifying the type of Asbestos Containing Material present, rather than the exact percentage of asbestos content.

For those working on contaminated land projects, it’s essential to consider various legal and regulatory obligations related to potential asbestos contamination in soils and made ground. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and other guidance like CAR-SOIL require employers to assess and manage potential asbestos exposure for employees. Environmental regulations also mandate quantifying asbestos in soils to evaluate hazardous waste handling procedures and potential human health risks.

Accurately measuring asbestos levels in soil is crucial for understanding occupational exposure and determining the best practices for removal, disposal, or re-using the soil. Studies have shown that the amount of asbestos present in made ground or soil directly relates to the risk of airborne asbestos fibres being released during ground disturbance, which can endanger both individuals and the environment.

The Prevention of Airborne Asbestos Fibre Exposure Specifically from Soils and Made Ground

To comply with all regulations and properly assess the potential presence of asbestos in soils, it is essential to conduct a formal tiered process to analyse soil samples. This process includes identifying the presence of asbestos (identification), determining its composition (type determination), and quantifying the amount of asbestos present (quantification).

By thoroughly analysing soil samples, an accurate assessment of the percentage of asbestos fibres in relation to the total mass can be obtained. This information is crucial for evaluating occupational risks and determining appropriate practices for the removal, disposal, or re-use of materials containing asbestos. Learn more about asbestos air monitoring here.

Asbestos Air Monitoring
NorthStar Asbestos Testing Services

How can North Star Help?

By obtaining UKAS accreditation for asbestos Identification, our environmental consultants are equipped to deliver a diverse selection of contaminated land services. These services are specifically designed to address even the most challenging scenarios efficiently and cost-effectively.

Our offerings Encompass:

  • Surveying and analysing asbestos in soils
  • Made Ground
  • Ballast
  • Rail Ballast
  • Aggregate
  • Slurry
  • Sediment
  • Conducting environmental site audits
  • Developing site investigation specifications
  • Producing factual or interpretative reports
  • Managing remediation processes
  • Performing exposure assessments

What Are My Responsibilities and How Can North Star Help?

The Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012) mandates the importance of having adequate documented information to prevent asbestos exposure. Despite compliance with these regulations and planning requirements, duty holders, landowners, and developers have faced liability claims recently. To avoid such liabilities, it is crucial to effectively mitigate potential risks associated with asbestos-containing soils during any redevelopment activities.

Our team of Environmental Consultants specialises in assisting clients in mitigating the risks posed by contaminated land, we ensure a comprehensive and best practice approach is taken, starting from the initial site review and desktop study to intrusive site investigation and eventual site remediation.

Bringing the Laboratory to You

North Star Environmental has devoted extensive time and effort to introducing this exceptional mobile bulk laboratory to the market.

Certified by UKAS and possibly the only one in its category in the UK, we offer the convenience of on-site, same-day asbestos in soil results.

Our lab is equipped with cutting-edge technologies, which include high-end Meiji MT PCM/PLM microscopes, advanced analytical balances, state-of-the-art self-contained fume cabinets and 5G internet connectivity for smooth and instant communications with our clients.

This positions our mobile laboratory as a leader in on-site analysis solutions.

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