Cost and turnaround time
Final 4-hour test
- Cost including sampling, report and laboratory certificate
- Turnaround time: Results in 1 to 2 business days
- Special contractor rates available—call us for details
Daily testing during work
- Cost including sampling and laboratory certificate
- Turnaround time: Results available the same day, if testing is done in the morning
test quality and
The laboratory is recognized by the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST). Multitest as well as the laboratory are covered by an errors and omissions liability insurance.
What is it?
Testing is performed to confirm whether the amount of fibres in the air meets the applicable standards for healthy indoor air.
These tests are necessary in many cases during and/or after removal of vermiculite or other materials containing asbestos.
Learn more about our asbestos tests for the air
Final 4-hour test
Test duration: 4 hours.
This test is necessary in many cases after removal of vermiculite or other materials containing asbestos. The test results can confirm whether the amount of fibres in the air meets the applicable standards for healthy indoor air.
This test consists of determining whether the amount of total fibres (all fibres combined, including asbestos fibres where applicable) exceeds the concentration of breathable asbestos fibres specified in the Safety Code for the construction industry (the concentration must be less than 0.01 fibre/cm3).
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
If the final 4-hour test indicates that the total quantity of fibres exceeds the concentration specified by the Safety Code for the construction industry (the concentration must be less than 0.01 fibre/cm3), we will recommend a second test which consists of counting the of breathable asbestos fibres by means of a transmission electron microscope in order to verify if said concentration is respected. This test is performed on the same sample as the final 4-hour test.
The fee of $395 per sample for this test is not included in the initial fee; turnaround time is 3 to 4 business days.
Daily testing during work
Test duration: Around 20 minutes.
This test consists of collecting a sample once per shift while work is being done to remove vermiculite or other materials containing asbestos to test for total fibres content in the work area and posting the analysis results within 24 hours (the previous day’s results are usually posted at the work area entrance the next morning).
The results of these daily tests must be recorded in a log made available on the work site for the duration of the work.
For this type of test, while the concentration of breathable asbestos fibres indicated in the specified by the Safety Code for the construction industry (below 0.01 fibre/cm3) does not necessarily have to be respected (as workers wear personal protective equipment), inspectors from CNESST will closely monitor the total concentration of airborne fibres in the work area to ensure that the contractor performs adequate control of fibre emissions during the work in order to protect workers’ health and safety (and indirectly, the health and safety of occupants).
Although additional daily air testing may be done in the “changing room for street clothes” (also called the “clean changing room”) of a high-risk work area, there is no legal obligation to do so. However, such testing may be requested by a CNESST inspector in certain cases—for example, when there are large numbers of workers or a large amount of traffic in a high-risk work area or when the inspector has reason to believe the doors of the airtight enclosure are not kept properly closed.
FAQ on asbestos air testing
Is it mandatory?
The asbestos air tests legally required by the Safety Code for the construction industry (the « Code ») are the daily testing to monitor airborne fibre concentration during work (Section 3.23.16, paragraph 4 of the Code) and the final 4-hour test (also taken in the work area) to allow dismantling of the airtight enclosure (Section 3.23.16, paragraph 12 of the Code) of a high-risk work area involving asbestos-containing materials.
Although an additional daily air test in the “clean changing room” (referred to as the “changing room for street clothes” in the Code) is sometimes performed, this is not legally required in the Code. However, this test may be required by a CNESST inspector in some cases, for example, where there are many workers or a large amount of traffic in a high-risk work area or where the inspector believes that the doors to the airtight enclosure are not being kept properly closed.
Can i choose a testing time?
No. We will contact you the day before the test to confirm the appointment time. For example, if it is an urgent final 4-hour test requiring a same-day result, we will need to be on site around 7:00 a.m., since our laboratory must receive the cassettes (samples) before 12:00 p.m.
How long will your technician be on site?
Approximately 4h30m for a final 4-hour test and approximately 1h15m for a one sample daily testing.
Is an asbestos air test good for the whole house?
No, an asbestos air test is good either for a specific area where there has been work with an airtight enclosure or for a floor of about 1,000 square feet.
If my test does not respect the applicable standard, is this a problem?
This question arises mainly for the final 4-hour asbestos air test.
Failure to comply with the applicable standard can occur in two cases.
The first is “filter overloaded”. This means that there were so many fibres (of any kind: dust, cellulose, human skin flakes, animal hair, etc.) in the sample that the laboratory chemist is not able to perform the analysis. The solution is to redo a fine cleaning (also called HEPA cleaning) of the area and perform a final 4-hour test once more.
The second is a positive result, i.e. above the acceptable standard (therefore 0.01 fibre/cm3 or more). Two solutions are then possible: (1) redo a fine/HEPA cleaning of the premises and perform a final 4-hour test once more; or (2) do a transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis on the sample we have already taken to verify if this positive result is due to a concentration of airborne breathable asbestos fibres exceeding the standard or to other types of fibres (in the latter case, it is then considered non-problematic). If TEM result shows that the positive result from the first step is due to asbestos fibres, then a fine cleaning (also called HEPA cleaning) of the premises should be done again and the final test performed another time.
Walls and ceilings that may contain asbestos were demolished a few months ago, is an asbestos air test relevant?
In principle, no.
The right thing to do, if there are still walls or ceilings made of the same materials as those demolished, is to test these materials since they may not contain asbestos. If the test of these materials was negative (no asbestos fibres detected), this would be good news and the process would stop there.
If the demolished materials contained asbestos, or if it is no longer possible to test for asbestos (in which case it should be assumed that they did contain some), there should have been daily air tests during the work and a final 4-hour test (one per floor and/or per work area) after the work was completed, but before the airtight enclosure protecting the rest of the building was removed. The purpose of the final air test is to allow the contractor to remove the protection in place to prevent asbestos fibres from spreading elsewhere in the building during the work. If these tests had been done at the right time, we would not be asking this question.
However, several weeks, months or years after the work was done, if no asbestos air test was performed when it should have been, a final 4-hour test is the only test we can offer you to give you some comfort that the total fibres concentration is within the applicable standard for airborne breathable asbestos fibres in the air. It is important to know that if the area where we test is cleaned “regularly”, the test result will meet the standard in most cases.
A recent inspection report mentions that there is insulation on some parts of the ventilation ducts that may contain asbestos... is it a good idea to do an asbestos air test?
No, since the asbestos air test is not designed for this purpose and will not tell if this material contains asbestos or not.
The right thing to do would be to test the material since it may not contain asbestos.
Normally, when asbestos lagging removal work is done, it is done with glove bags and an asbestos air test is not legally required. However, a fine cleaning (also known as HEPA cleaning) of the area where work has been done is strongly suggested.
Although lagging in good condition can legally remain in place, we believe that it presents a health risk since the air inside the duct circulates near a material that is likely to emit asbestos fibres at some point as it ages. We recommend that you consult an asbestos removal professional to have it safely insulated.
I had vermiculite removed from my attic a year ago without doing an air test and the buyer of my house is asking for one today... is this relevant?
In principle, no.
The right thing to do would be to go and check in the attic (wearing proper personal protective equipment) at 10-20 different places if there is any vermiculite left (when it is the case, it is usually located deep under the insulation, near the joists), in order to test the vermiculite since it may not contain asbestos. If the vermiculite test was negative (no asbestos fibres detected), this would be good news and the process would stop there.
If the vermiculite did contain asbestos, or if it is no longer possible to test for it (in which case it should be assumed that it did contain some), there should have been at least one final 4-hour air test after the removal work was completed, but before the removal of the airtight enclosure protecting the rest of the building and the re-insulation. The purpose of the final 4-hour air test is to allow the contractor to remove the protections in place to prevent asbestos fibres from spreading elsewhere in the building during his work. If this test had been done at the right time, we would not be asking this question.
However, several weeks, months or years after such work, if no asbestos air test has been performed when it should have been, a final 4-hour air test is the only test we can offer you to give you some comfort that the total fibres concentration respects the applicable standard for airborne breathable asbestos fibres. It is important to know that: (1) since the attic has since been re-insulated and therefore there are many fibres circulating in the air, we will not test in the attic, but rather in a room in the living area below where the access hatch is located; and (2) if the area where we test is “regularly” cleaned, the test result will meet the standard in most cases.
Some testimonials from our clients
“Thank you so much for quick service of my asbestos air test! It was really appreciated since I was able to insolate my attic this weekend. Thanks to all your team; you are very professional and I will recommend you. Thanks again!”
Luc Bradley, Pointes-des-Cascades
“Quick availability for our tests, competent and rigorous professionals, clear reports… what more could you ask for. We do business with Multitest regularly and are very satisfied, thanks to all your team :)”
“I highly recommend Multitest. They took the time to give me good advice as I dealt with a delicate situation. I felt supported and 100% confident with this team. Rigor, efficiency in communications, respect for the estimate. A great experience.”
Daphné Caron, Google review, Greater Montréal
“Ultra professional and competent service. They took the time to listen to my situation and explain to me what applied to standards and show me the tests that could be done. There is no pressure to sell tests that you don’t need. You really feel like they’re looking to do what’s best for the customer without artificially inflating the bill.
In the construction industry, where we are often confronted with profiteering or downright dishonest individuals, this kind of service gives faith in humanity!”
Thanak, Google review, Greater Montréal
“Thank you very much for the professionalism of all your team!”
Main areas served by our air testing experts (asbestos)
North Shore of Montreal
We serve the North Shore of Montreal, including Laval, Mascouche, Terrebonne, Mirabel, Saint-Jérôme, Le Gardeur, Deux-Montagnes, Saint-Eustache, Pointe-Calumet, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Blainville, Boisbriand, Bois-des-Filion, Lorraine, Rosemère, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Sainte-Thérèse, Charlemagne, L’Assomption, Repentigny, Saint-Sulpice and L’Épiphanie.
City of Montreal
We serve the greater city of Montreal, including the following boroughs: Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Anjou, Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lachine, LaSalle, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Le Sud-Ouest, L’Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montréal-Nord, Outremont, Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, Saint-Laurent, Saint-Léonard, Verdun, Ville-Marie and Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension.
South Shore of Montreal
We serve a large portion of Montérégie, including Longueuil, Greenfield Park, Saint-Hubert, Brossard, Belœil, Boucherville, Candiac, Carignan, Chambly, Châteauguay, Delson, La Prairie, McMasterville, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Otterburn Park, Saint-Basile-le-Grand, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Sainte-Catherine, Saint-Constant, Saint-Isidore, Sainte-Julie, Saint-Lambert, Saint-Philippe, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Varennes.