Anthrax & Horse Hair Surveys

Anthrax Surveys & Testing of Hair in Plaster

EnviroHive Ltd undertake Anthrax Surveys & Tests on horse hair and other animal hairs within plaster including lath and plaster varieties which can feature within older buildings.

Anthrax is a persistent bacteria which lives as spores in hairs and hides in livestock such as horse, cow, ox & goat and can survive a wide range of conditions not only within the textile industries but also within traditional plaster materials within old or historical buildings.

Horse hair and other animal hairs have been used in traditional plaster for centuries but it wasn’t unit 1919 that control measures were introduced to disinfect animals hairs prior to their use in building plaster products.

In certain circumstances such as during refurbishment or demolition works the possibility of anthrax within these traditional plasters should be a consideration and may require anthrax sampling or testing to sections of plaster or an anthrax survey of the property prior to works commencing. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 & The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) stipulates a legal duty to introduce control measures to minimise any health risks to staff or those involved in the construction industry.

The Survey Process

The process of undertaking an anthrax survey is similar in approach to other hazardous material surveys. The surveyor will attend site to inspect the property to visually identify period plaster finishes containing hair both to ceiling finishes and wall finishes. Typically horse and animal hair plaster is applied either to wooden laths which make up a given wall or ceiling or directly to a solid substrate such as brick, block-work, stone or render. It is not important at this stage to ascertain what type of hair is present as the potential for anthrax is dependent on any hairs present rather than which animal the hair are derived from.

Once the substrates have been identified the process of sampling will then be undertaken involving the physical sampling of the plaster, there are particular requirements in terms of size of sample and coverage which the surveyor must adhere to in order to make any results meaningful. One sample in a building of many rooms and floors will be effectively useless, the correct number of samples must be taken in order to provide the client with results they can rely on. Following the site survey all samples are incubated and cultured over a 10 day period in order to conclude whether any of the samples contain anthrax.

Anthrax Testing will be of particular consideration within period residential property or mixed use commercial buildings where lath & plaster or plaster to solid substrates are the typical constructions methods for the walls & ceilings and where refurbishment, demolition or construction is planned. This will also be the case where fire damage or escapement of water has occurred. Properties built prior to 1919 should be subject to an anthrax survey prior to any works commencing.

Following the survey inspection and once the laboratory results have been processed, a full report is then complied to assess the risk prior to any refurbishment and or demolition works.

Our reports in each scenario will contain the following information.

  • Anthrax Plaster Register of identified applications
  • Floor plans and locations of sampling points.
  • Photographs and reference points.
  • Laboratory certificates from samples of plaster taken
  • Recommendations on anthrax animal hair occurrences and meeting your obligations.

Single Point Anthrax Testing

Where small works are planned or the occurrence of hair in plaster is restricted to a single wall or ceiling, single spot tests can be undertaken in isolation rather than a full anthrax survey report. This is particularly the case in incidences of accidental damage or where escapement of water has occurred and anthrax results are required in this location only.

If you require further advice on anthrax surveys or sampling please contact us and one of our consultants will be happy to discuss your requirements.

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Lead Paint Surveys

Lead paint surveys & analysis are crucially important for those involved in refurbishment or renovation, particularly in period properties or listed buildings which have been neglected or have remained unchanged for some time.

Anthrax & Horse Hair Surveys

EnviroHive Ltd undertake Anthrax Surveys & Tests on horse hair and other animal hairs within plaster including lathe and plaster varieties which can feature within older buildings, particularly listed properties.

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