Asbestos In Soil Testing And Assessment

Asbestos containing materials such as 'fibro' sheeting are commonly found in soils where fill materials are present as well as to the ground surfaces and below building floors and slabs where inappropriate demolition and construction have taken place.

The builder, contractor and/or property owner have an obligation under OHS and Environmental legislation and regulations to assess any suspected asbestos contamination to the fill or ground areas when found. These assessment are carryied out by experienced asbestos assessors in order to comply with OHS and Environmental law and to take appropriate action to control the asbestos risk and remediate the site if required.


Asbestos materials is often idenitified in soil during construction, road , civil and other intrusive earthworks in Sydney Metropolitioan areas, but also in other areas of NSW and ACT. The asbestos materials are most typically asbestos cement products that have been left behind from previous building activities to the site or have been imported to the soil in contaminated fill material.

NSW WorkCover requires that the a competent person assess any identified asbestos contamination to the soil to determine:

    1. The nature of the contamination. Type of asbestos material contamination and whether it can be defined as bonded or friable asbestos .
    2. The extent of the contamination; and
    3. The recommended safe removal procedure.

Further to this the contamination has environmental implications and the most appropriate managment and/or remediation of the contamination will be required determined. In some cases the removal or treatment of the asbestos soil will be required to be carried out to allow for the planned development of the site. However, in many instances the contamination may be widespread a larger volume of soil and hence will be fairly expensise to remove off site or treat by on site screening. The isolation (capping) of the contamination and implementation of approprate precdures for long term management of the contamination may well be the most appropriate approach to such contamination.
SWE has years of experience with asbestos in soil contamination management and remediation. We can assist property owners, buiders, excavation contractors and asbestos removalists with the assessment of the contamination, sampling, development of remediation plans, management plans, project management, air monitoring, soil validation and environmental management plans.