Background/Aim A large reservoir of in situ asbestos-containing materials (ACM) remain in residential settings throughout Australia. Tradesmen and householders are at risk of exposure if they work on or near these materials, without knowing they contain asbestos. The aim of this study was to validate ACM Check, a screening tool to identify and assess the condition of potential ACMs located in and around Western Australian homes.
Methods A two stage cross-sectional study was undertaken: 1) completion of ACM Check by 40 Western Australian householders, and 2) an on-site asbestos inspection by an experienced Environmental Consultant, which included collecting samples of suspect ACM to be tested in a laboratory. Cohen’s kappa coefficient compared the results obtained from ACM Check with those of the Environmental Consultant.
Results 40 houses ranging in date of construction from 1898 through to 1988 with a median year of 1966, were sampled. 38 of the 40 houses (95%) were identified as having one or more ‘possible’ or ‘likely’ asbestos-containing materials present on the property. Overall, there was perfect agreement between ACM Check and the Environmental Consultant’s assessment for any (1 or more) ACM present, K=1.00, p<.005, perfect agreement for any ACM located outside the house, K=1.00, p<.005, and moderate agreement for any ACM located inside the house, K=0.593, p<.005.
Conclusions ACM Check is a reliable screening tool to identify in situ ACMs in Western Australian residential settings. Its method can potentially be modified for implementation in other countries
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