Hazardous Materials Surveys

Hazardous materials are classified as those materials and substances, which due to their presence in a particular building or area; pose a potential threat to the health and safety of staff and members of the public.

Their presence may be due to their use in the original construction and subsequent use of the building, or may alternatively be due to introduction at a later date from activities such as waste tipping, manufacture or material storage.

SOCOTEC can carry out surveys which concentrate on those hazardous materials present on site which pose a risk to the health and safety of staff engaged in the works or members of the public.

Common materials include:

  • Discarded medical supplies, hypodermic syringes/other drug related paraphernalia
  • Lead and lead oxides in paint coatings – may also include be cadmium and chromium in certain cases
  • Heavy metals in old wall coatings
  • Chemicals, paints, oils and other substances left in within buildings
  • Dusts, debris and other solid substances within the building/site which may be hazardous to health
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – transformer oils, capacitors, oil filled cables
  • Anthrax (animal by-products/hair within building insulation/plaster)
  • Biohazards – moulds, fungi, sewage, airborne bacteria etc
  • Man Made Mineral Fibre (MMMF) present in insulation materials
  • Stagnant water present on site – leaking pipes, water ingress, water in tanks, heating/boiler systems
  • Asbestos

Analysis of suspected hazardous materials is carried out at our in-house Specialist Chemistry laboratories, using a variety of techniques including GC-MS, FTIR, ICP-OES and Scanning Electron Microscopy.  Once complete, comprehensive reports are produced detailing the extent of the contamination, with recommended remedial actions / disposal considerations.

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