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Asbestos in Soils

An essential survey for brownfield site development

AEC carry out surveying for asbestos in soils, following the guidance contained in Appendix 7 of HSG248.  Before digging on a brownfield site, it is good practice to sample the ground first. Any suspicious material requires analysis for asbestos. A dedicated technical consultant will assess the results and help develop suitable action plans. AEC also offers air monitoring and project management services to guide you through any removal or  remediation works.

 A soils survey involves:

  • An initial desk-top study of the site, considering previous use.
  • A preliminary site investigation, looking for general surface contamination.
  • The main survey involving both surface sampling, both for visible contaminants, and soils sampling using cone and quartering techniques, followed by depth samples depending on the strata of the ground and the levels of development required.

Air Testing during land development

AEC can carry out advice using CAR-SOIL ion interpretation of CAR 2012 for land development, as well as air monitoring, both personal and perimeter, where far-source air testing techniques can be utilised to ensure a lower limit of detection.


AEC soil surveyors assess land for asbestos-contamination, both on the surface and beneath, using trial pits. Inspection and testing services are carried out by our partner UKAS laboratories that are accredited for all 3 stages of soil analysis.


A site survey will be required to assess the land for asbestos contamination. A surface assessment will be carried out, in addition to sampling within a gridded plan/trial pits. Soil samples are tested at our UKAS accredited partners’ laboratories using a 3-stage analysis: Initial bulk analysis; gravimetric analysis to determine % of asbestos in soil by weight; and fibre counting and Sizing by Phase Contrast Optical Microscopy (PCOM) – Fine Fibres.

* AEC is UKAS accredited for asbestos surveys, air testing and bulk sample analysis only.

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