Asbestos sampling

I am a home inspector in California. Can I (legally) gather acoustic ceiling samples to take to analytical laboratories as part of my inspection services? Do I need special certification?

Thank you,


If tile is before1981 and an existing piece is available, nothing wrong in bagging it and have it tested.
But why?

Who is paying for the testing?

Why would you want to go beyond the SOP?

Why not refer to a specialist if the material is a possible ACM.

Not sure about CA requirements, but be sure to follow the protocol of the testing facility you will be using.

This is from EMSL…

Beware that disturbing asbestos containing materials can create a hazard

If you were in Missouri & were not a licensed asbestos inspector OR the home owner … AND one of us or the lab turns you in you could be up for a $5,000 - $10,000 fine. Check with your state to see if asbestos contractors, inspectors, workers, etc are licensed.

I offer this service for a fee. I take the samples and deliver them to an analytical lab.

Correction. I would offer this service for a fee…have not done so yet.

Again … Does your state license ACM inspectors, workers, etc. If so and you’re licensed have at it … If not find out what the fines are for NON licensed people who don’t own the house doing that AND hope you don’t get caught OR don’t get discovered by licensed people who get pissed off and turn you in because you’re stealing $$$$$$$$ from them. Its really a simple concept.

2 Quik Online Searches under Asbestos in California …

  • Asbestos Building Inspector Initial

The Building Inspector determines the location and presence of asbestos-containing materials and also assesses the condition of the material. Only an AHERA accredited inspector can sample and inspect material for asbestos. In California, when a person is hired to inspect and sample materials for asbestos, they must be a Certified Asbestos Consultant (CAC) or Certified Site Surveillance Technician (CSST) working under a CAC.This course meets AHERA training requirements as well as Cal/OSHA training requirements for Building Inspectors. The course provides an overview of asbestos containing materials in buildings, the methods to find, categorize and assess their condition and potential for disturbance. The topics covered in detail are: discussion of state and federal regulations, health effects, personal protective equipment, the inspection process, sampling and categorizing the material, recordkeeping, legal liability and insurance. The last day includes a hands-on training using established inspection methodologies and organization of findings is conducted so the student is exposed to real world asbestos building inspection protocols.

Asbestos Inspector

  • Anyone who collects a sample or conducts an asbestos survey in California must successfully complete the AHERA training requirements for asbestos inspectors. These individuals must possess knowledge and understanding of California and EPA laws and regulations. In addition, they must become familiar with the types of asbestos as well as materials that might contain asbestos minerals. The inspector sends the asbestos sample to an EPA-approved laboratory for analysis. The lab uses a procedure called “polarized light microscopy” (PLM) to determine the presence of asbestos. The PLM assessment shows the type of asbestos contained in the sample and the percentage, which ranges between 1 and 100 percent. Material containing more than 1 percent asbestos is categorized as hazardous.


  • The survey inspector produces a comprehensive report of his or her findings. The account must include information concerning the locations inspected, such as the interior plaster, window putty or roofing covering. In addition, the report lists the number of samples taken and the lab results. The document may also contain information on the cost estimates for asbestos removal and assessment of materials with asbestos content. Usually, the report has the name of the inspector, his or her license number and the signature of a certified asbestos consultant. A “chain of custody” record accompanies the assessment.

Many thanks Dan!