Hazardous Materials Survey

The purpose of a Hazardous Materials Survey is to:


  • Conduct an inspection to identify hazardous materials within the building(s);
  • Provide a qualitative risk assessment of the hazardous materials identified;
  • Provide recommendations on the control measure strategies; and
  • Prepare a Hazardous Materials Register for the site to ensure legislative compliance.


What Hazards do we identify?


Typically, hazardous materials identified within the survey include but are not limited to:


1. Asbestos

Asbestos is typically found in building materials such as corrugated roofing, wall cladding, ceiling panels and floor tiles. For more information about the dangers and uses of asbestos go here: http://adenvirotech.com.au/asbestos-overview/.


2. Synthetic Mineral Fibre (SMF)

According to the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission, SMF is a “generic term used to collectively describe a number of amorphous (non-crystalline) fibrous materials.” This can include items such as glassfibre, mineral wool and ceramic fibre and is often found in electrical equipment. They can also be referred to as Man Made Mineral Fibres (MMMF). Due to their similar use and appearance to asbestos, concerns exist surrounding the health effects associated with SMF.


3. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

The NSW EPA defines PCBs as a “class of highly persistent, bioaccumulative chemicals…of organic pollutants.” PCBs are commonly found in electrical transformers and light fittings. The staged phase out of PCBs ended in 2009. Exposure to PCBs is known to cause health problems including skin conditions, the development of neurobehavioral and immunological changes in children and is a suspected carcinogen.


4. Lead

Lead, most commonly found in domestic paint, soil and dust, is another frequently found hazardous material. Of particular concern is house paint dating back prior to 1970. However, if this only poses a threat if the paint is damaged or disturbed. If the paint is in good condition and not flaking or is well covered by a lead free paint, it is not considered dangerous unless disturbed. Consequently, particular care must be taken when undertaking home renovations.


Standards/Assessment Criteria


The Australian Standard 2601 Demolition of Structures requires that the structures and all parts of the site should be examined in order to determine the presence of hazardous materials before commencement of any renovation or demolition.


Hazardous Materials Surveys Report


Thus, ADE complies with the following standards in conducting and reporting on Hazardous Materials Surveys:


  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011
  • WHS Regulation 2011.
  • AS2601 (2001) The Demolition of Structures.
  • NSW Code of Practice: How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace (2011).
  • NSW Code of Practice: How to Safely Remove Asbestos (2011).
  • Code of Practice for Synthetic Mineral Fibres [NOHSC:2006(1990)].
  • AS4361.1 (1995) Guide to Lead Paint Management. Part 1: Industrial Applications.
  • AS4361.2 (1998) Guide to Lead Paint Management. Part 2: Residential and Commercial Buildings.
  • ANZECC (1997) Identification of PCB-containing Capacitors: An Information Booklet for Electricians and Electrical Contractors.


ADE Capabilites


Qualified inspectors from A. D. Envirotech Australia Pty Ltd report on hazardous or potentially hazardous materials which may have adverse health or/and environmental consequences. A detailed report, register and management plan is then created for each of the hazards identified.


Additionally, ADE has the following capabilities for these potential hazards:


1. Asbestos

2. SMF

ADE can ensure that effective control measures are in place through monitoring of the SMF exposure levels and testing the materials to see if they contain SMF. All testing methods are NATA accredited in our in-house laboratory, offering fast turnaround times on analysis.

The air sampling should be undertaken by an adequately trained person using the SMF membrane filter method. Records of all air monitoring must be kept by the employer, who should inform all workers using SMF about the results and about any risk control measures.

ADE can provide information and training about working safely with SMF as well as management plans and instructions for the controls to be implemented for its safe use.


3. PCBs

ADE services include:

– PCBs inspections, identification and reporting
– Project Management (as per EPA guidelines)

– PCBs removal and remediation
– Transportation
– Disposal
– Capacitor discharge and disposal


4. Lead


Lead-based paint or Lead-containing dust inspections

    • Our highly qualified and trained occupational hygienists conduct inspections to determine the presence or absence of lead-based paint and lead in dust through a surface-by-surface investigation of the subject building or area.


Lead Risk Assessments 

    • The risk assessment includes a visual assessment of the building and paint condition.
    • Sampling locations are selected based on use patterns and visual observations. Dust samples are typically collected in the representative areas.
    • Any hazards identified as well as acceptable control measures, including interim control and abatement options are included in a written report.


Lead Abatement/Removal works

    • Depending on the nature of lead materials and site conditions ADE employs safe and cost-effective remediation methods to ensure that the lead hazard has been either removed or managed in accordance with Australian Standards.


Clearance Inspections

The inspector conducts an inspection of the removal area to determine:

    • if all required work has been adequately completed
    • if all lead-based paint hazards have been removed or controlled
    • that there is no visible settled dust, paint chips, or debris in the interior or around the exterior
    • If the visual inspection is satisfactory, clearance dust sampling is conducted and samples analysed by our own in-house NATA accredited lab