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What Does Asbestos Testing Cost?

Asbestos wrapped boiler in the basement; asbestos testing; pricing; cost; testing cost

Many of our clients are daunted by the potential presence of asbestos in their home. What makes the process more stressful is the fear of the cost to test and abate asbestos. In this blog post, we will give you a summary of our pricing for asbestos testing services.

Bulk Sampling

When you’re unsure if a material contains asbestos, you’ll want to have a bulk sample collected.  Bulk sampling refers to the method of physically cutting out a piece of a suspect asbestos material to determine its asbestos content. The sample can then be analyzed at a laboratory via Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) or Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). PLM analysis is typically used for the vast majority of samples. The cost of this service can range from $350-$700 or more depending on the number of samples collected.

Air Sampling

When you’re unsure if there are asbestos fibers in the air following abatement or accidental disturbance, you’ll want to have air samples collected. Asbestos air sampling refers to quantifying the number of airborne asbestos fibers. The two methods to accomplish this are Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) or Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). PCM is a test method that determines the fiber concentration of all fibers with similar characteristics to asbestos, but not asbestos specifically. This type of sample can be analyzed at an accredited laboratory or analyzed on-site by one of our licensed analysts. TEM air samples are analyzed in a laboratory with an electron microscope which can identify asbestos fibers specifically. The testing cost for these services generally ranges from $450-$900.

Dust Sampling

When you are concerned about a release of asbestos fibers in the past, you’ll want to collect dust samples.  Asbestos dust sampling is a method where a small area of dust is sampled from a specialized filter cassette. This has the ability to show the historical concentration of asbestos present in the settled dust. The samples are analyzed at an accredited laboratory utilizing the TEM method. The price of this service can range from $500-800.

Factors for Pricing

The range of pricing for each type of testing is due to many factors. The first factor is the number of samples. It is standard practice to collect multiple samples of the same material for quality control purposes. Also, different materials need to be tested separately.  For example, a floor tile sample typically consists of two separate substrates: the tile itself and the mastic adhesive used to glue it down. Additional testing costs are incurred when there are duplicate samples or multiple layers.

Another factor involved is turnaround time (TAT) for the laboratory samples. If sample results are required sooner than standard turnaround time (typically 3 business days), then there is an extra fee for the laboratory work. Depending on timing, Indoor Science can provide 1 business day TAT, same day TAT, or for PCM samples we offer on-site (immediate TAT) analysis.

The final factors that can influence price are our schedule and if the project is a long distance from our office.

In conclusion, the testing cost for asbestos services can range greatly due to the type of testing involved, the number of samples, and turnaround time. If you are concerned about if asbestos present in your property please contact us to discuss your testing options and testing cost.

Ian Cull

Ian Cull is a nationally recognized expert in the field of indoor air quality. He is the Chief Science Officer of Indoor Science, a company he started in 2004. He speaks around the world on air quality topics and is a training provider of the Indoor Air Quality Association. Mr. Cull is a Licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). His degree is in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign. Mr. Cull has developed 50 air quality related courses for the IAQA University and is the author of the book, “Fundamentals of Mold Remediation”. In his words… “Besides being passionate about indoor air quality, I enjoy cycling, music, the Chicago Bulls, and having fun with my three kids.”