Various techniques employed for detecting the presence of pollutants in asbestos

Australia has the 2nd highest rate of mesothelioma deaths in the world, following the United Kingdom. Mesothelioma is a rare variety of cancer typically caused by asbestos exposure affecting more than 10,000 people since the beginning of 1980s. According to the cancer experts, more than 25,000 people may succumb to this disease and die from it in the next four decades. Various methods of testing asbestos have been developed to find out the presence of asbestos and the method for asbestos testing Gold Coast professionals use is largely dependent on the type of matrix that is to be analysed.

asbestos testing gold coast

There are several methods of asbestos testing Gold Coast professionals use, and some of the common ones are:

Airborne asbestos:

In order to measure the fiber concentration of airborne samples, Phase Contrast Microscopy or PCM is widely used. This is normally conducted at any asbestos abatement centre, and is routinely applied for personnel monitoring, environmental monitoring and clearance test for small abatement tasks.

This technique has the benefit of faster turnaround time and cost efficiency. This light microscope procedure can operate at magnifications of 400X and is able to resolve fibre particles that are larger than 0.25 microns in diameter.

PCM technique is not utilized for distinguishing asbestos fibres from other fibres like cellulose, mineral wool, fiberglass, gypsum, etc., but this test is proficient in delivering an overall reading of the presence of different types of fibres in the sample.

When fibres smaller than 0.25 microns in diameter are required to be detected and identified, the use of TEM is needed for differentiating the types of fibres.

Transmission Electron Microscopy:

This method of asbestos testing Gold Coast professionals use offers the most sophisticated technology for characterizing various asbestos minerals. It has now become the standard for most airborne investigations that include diagnostic and environmental monitoring tasks and post abatement clearance testing.

Bulk building materials

The analysis for asbestos content in bulk building materials is generally conducted by various tests that include PLM, and sometimes by XRD, SEM and TEM.

Polarised Light Microscopy or PLM

This technique of asbestos testing Gold Coast professionals use is a most commonly employed technique for analysing the bulk building materials. It utilizes the individualistic features of polarized light beams to detect mineral specific optical properties. This way PLM is able to differentiate asbestos materials from non-asbestos fibres as well as classifies the different species that comprise the asbestos mineral family. Also, this Gold Coast asbestos testing can record and detect the identity of those non-fibrous components present in the bulk building sample.

The Polarised Light Microscopy technique conducted by SAES Safe Air Environmental Services is a cost-effective way of screening large amount of samples. But it has some limitations like the PCM technique due to various interferences present in the building material matrix such as tar and petroleum binding particles, sub-micron particulate, etc.

The results are delivered as a percentage of the entire sample. This best asbestos testing in Gold Coast makes use of a few protocols for the process of quantification that include point counting and visual estimation, gravimetric reduction protocols, etc. Each of these tests is essential in evaluating and detecting the various non-building materials and contaminants in the asbestos sheet.

Composting: What You Need to Know

Almost everyone knows that composting can help you make naturally-rich garden soil from your kitchen food scraps and yard trimmings. Composting can be done in many ways such as open pit composting, open bins composting, with the use of tumblers, piling, vermicomposting, and using a kitchen scrap bin.

Take Note of the Essential Composting Ingredients

Added to those is a number of environmental factors where the scraps are decomposed, and that includes the microbes responsible for decomposition. Supplying these microorganisms with the appropriate elements and proper physical atmosphere can give you the best and healthy soil for your plants. In this article, you will learn about the important things to consider when you want to produce a good soil by scrap bin


There are two common types of microbes used for composting, namely, the aerobic microbes and the anaerobic microbes.

  • Aerobic microbes

Aerobic microorganisms are naturally occurring microbes which make use of oxygen to live and do the composting job. When composting in a kitchen scraps bin, you must make sure that it has enough air holes for proper ventilation. These microbes are already present in the soil and are assisted by other factors to create compost. As they “eat” their way up the pile of kitchen and yard scraps, they produce heat, water, and carbon dioxide.

  • Anaerobic microbes

Unlike aerobic microbes, anaerobic microbes do the composting without depending on oxygen. Just placing food scraps and yard trimmings in a tightly closed kitchen scrap bin or a food scraps bin can decompose the materials. However, the anaerobic composting process can create a foul smell caused by the carbon dioxide, methane gas, hydrogen sulfide produced during the decomposition process. Also, this composting process is much slower than the aerobic process.

Other organisms such as earthworms, spiders, centipedes, snails, and leeches can contribute to the composting process as well as “eat” up the pile into tiny pieces.

Moisture Level

The microbes that do most of the dirty work need water in order to survive. However, it is hard to determine the exact quantity of water to add to ensure that the composting process won’t be undermined. One rule of thumb is simply to add less water when there are green cuttings such as weeds, leaves, and grass you put in. On the other hand, putting in brown materials such as hay and straw will require more water, but not too much. Even when you include mixed paper recycling in your compost, make sure that you add enough water to maintain moisture.


Oxygen is used for aerobic composting. Turning the pile or the tumbler more often will help the bacteria get enough oxygen for the decomposition process. The process of turning your pile can rearrange it, putting the less decaying materials on the edge into the middle of the pile to heat up.


If you are a serious gardener, using a compost thermometer will help you determine the level of heat in your pile. Through this, you will know when to turn the pile, when to add more materials for composting, when to add water, and when to harvest it.


Using a kitchen scrap bin or creating a compost pit are both useful to generally reduce wastes from your home. However, make sure that you place or make them in the right spot in your house or near your garden to avoid unwanted damaging effects. If you prefer using a bin for compost, visit Ecobin and other compost bin distributors near you.

Other Materials

When adding new organic materials into your pile, avoid squeezing them in as this can expel the air around the compost and will eventually kill your aerobic microbes. Try to add some grass trimmings and leaves or sawdust to reduce smell and keep them from insects who will ruin your pile.