This form is for building material samples such as drywall, flooring, ceiling tiles or other potentially asbestos containing materials.


For airborne asbestos cassettes collected for daily air monitoring, or air clearance.



While it is recommended that asbestos sampling is performed by a certified consultant, home owners may take their own samples if they would like to know more information about the materials in their home. General requirements for the sampling of Asbestos can also be found in the WorkSafe BC publication “Safe Work Practices For Handling Asbestos” and should be followed by anyone taking Asbestos samples to ensure they are doing so safely and collecting the proper amount of samples from the right location.


When submitting samples to Sarcova Industries Inc. please ensure:
• All samples are in sealed in separate bags, free from any debris outside of the sealed bag (i.e. no dust or materials outside the bag)
• The batch of samples is bundled together in such a way that the no samples are opened if the package is shaken lightly (eg. The sample batch is placed in a larger sealed bag)
• A completed Chain Of Custody (COC) form is securely attached to the sample batch
The COC for submission of Bulk asbestos samples can be found on our forms page, as well as at the link below.



Air samples should be collected by an inspector who has completed the NIOSH 582 or an equivalent course which details the sampling process as well as how to choose which samples to take and where to take them. Samples of air for asbestos content are collected using a cassette which contains a filter that traps the asbestos fibers as well as other fibers and particulate matter. Proper personal protective equipment should be worn when collecting air samples for asbestos content and the guidelines set out by local regulatory bodies should be followed at all times.
When submitting air cassette samples to the laboratory please ensure the following:
• All cassettes are free of any dust or debris on their outer casing, excess dust or debris can contaminate samples as well as posing a risk to analysis personnel
• All samples and blanks have been bundled together in such a way that they can be easily recognized as part of the same sample batch.
• A completed Chain of Custody form accompanies the samples when they are submitted.
The COC for the submission of air cassettes for asbestos analysis can be found on our forms page as well as the link below.



The term Asbestos concerns a number of naturally occurring mineral fibers which have been used throughout history in a number of building materials. In more recent times (1950-present) Asbestos can be found in a number of household materials such as; flooring, ceiling tiles, roofing tar and sealants, window glazing putty, sink undercoating, drywall joint filler compound and spray-on materials including textured (popcorn) ceilings and exterior stucco and many others. While the adverse health effects of Asbestos have been proven fairly extensively (JPC-SE 2012) its economic importance has made a formal ban difficult. The use of Asbestos is regulated in Canada and the United States where the import, sale, and use of asbestos are prohibited except for some very specific applications.


There are a number of documented health effects arising from exposure to asbestos fibres, the diseases which occur as a result of asbestos exposure are; asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer although there are a number of other health effects as well.
Asbestosis- Asbestosis is a chronic lung condition which results from the formation of scar-like tissue in the lungs. This scarring will cause a decrease in the elasticity of the lungs which will in turn limit the capacity of the lungs causing the most common symptom of asbestosis, shortness of breath. Asbestosis is typically the product of prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers over the course of several years with symptoms developing over the course of the exposure and worsening as time goes by. Methods of detection include regular chest x-rays and physical exams.
Mesothelioma- Mesothelioma is the formation of cancerous tumors on mesothelial tissues (mesothelium are the thin layers of tissue that cover many internal organs). While mesothelioma rates are quite low in the general population, they are significantly higher in groups where asbestos exposure is possible such as asbestos workers and workers in facilities with asbestos containing products. It can take as long as 30-40 years for mesothelioma resulting from asbestos exposure to manifest itself. The prognosis for mesothelioma patients is poor, with early detection being the best defense, as most treatment options do not significantly improve prognosis.
Lung Cancer- While there are a number of factors which can contribute to the formation of lung cancers asbestos exposure has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer in the general population. Asbestos workers or people exposed to asbestos who smoke are significantly more likely to develop lung cancer during their lifetime. The relationship between asbestos exposure and lung cancer is complicated and dependent on a number of factors such as age when exposed, extent of exposure and duration, smoking history, type of asbestos exposed and many other factors. Laboratory tests including chest x-rays are the most effective means of diagnosis.
For more information on the health effects of asbestos exposure please refer to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety Fact Sheet: “CCOHS Asbestos Fact sheet” https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/asbestos/effects.html


When dealing with Asbestos in British Columbia the primary authority in regulating how asbestos is handled is WorkSafeBC, and they have a number of resources available to help homeowners and contractors deal with Asbestos safely. Before beginning any renovation or demolition project it is important to hire a certified professional consultant who will conduct a thorough survey of the building and complete an assessment of all hazardous materials. More Information on hiring a qualified professional to survey your home and have asbestos safely removed can be found in the following publications by WorkSafeBC:
Asbestos Hazards When Renovating Older Homes
Asbestos: Frequently Asked Questions
Asbestos Awareness For Homeowners


Yes, homeowners may bring in their own samples for analysis, we ask that the samples be between 1” x 1” and 2” x 2” and that samples are sealed in Ziploc style bags. While we do offer this service to homeowners we strongly recommend a trained professional performs a proper hazardous materials survey to ensure your living area is not contaminated in the event of a positive result.

The number of samples you should take depends on the material, WorkSafe BC guidelines state that at least three samples should be taken from most surfaces, including Drywall, Texture Coat (Popcorn Ceiling), Grouts and Mortars, as well as Mastics and Exterior surfaces like Stucco.

If a sample contains asbestos and you still intend to disturb (remove or otherwise damage) the material it is recommended you consult a professional asbestos abatement company. It is not recommended that you remove asbestos containing materials yourself as the necessary safety precautions can be complicated.

Yes, provided the material in question is intact you can leave it alone. Asbestos is only a hazard when it is released into the air by mechanical disruption, or by shedding from materials which are falling apart on their own. If the material that tested positive is in poor shape it is recommended you remove it to prevent any contamination or exposure.

What you do with your report will vary based on the reason why you submitted samples to our lab. If you submitted drywall samples to be able to dump drywall then you should bring your report showing a clean result with you to the drywall recycling facility. If you received the report in association with an inspection to clear a house for a renovation or demolition you should consult with the inspector who collected the samples about how to proceed.