Asbestos Testing Using Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM)

PLM Bulk Analysis (EPA 600/R-93/116)

The analysis includes testing of bulk building materials for asbestos by performing a visual estimation using the EPA Method 600/R-93/116. This method is the most widely used method for estimating asbestos in bulk building materials and works well for most sample types. However, it might require a more detailed method like point counting for accurate estimation of asbestos in samples with low asbestos concentration. This method is also not applicable for samples containing large amounts of fine fibers below the resolution of the PLM (< 0.3 microns). The method separates the sample material into various layers based on their morphology and then detects for the presence of the different asbestos fibers in each of these layers. The report will express the percentage of the different asbestos fibers detected in each of the different layers based upon the visual estimation.

Asbestos-EPA 1000 point count

The analysis includes testing of bulk building materials for asbestos by performing 1000 point count (EPA 600/R-93/116). This is a detailed and more labor-intensive technique for estimating asbestos in a building material and is less subjective than a visual estimate. While the visual estimation of asbestos in a building material works well for most samples, this methodology can be very important when low asbestos concentration in a building material is suspected or detected. This methodology, which has a detection limit of 0.1%, increases the accuracy and precision of the asbestos concentration determined in a sample.

Asbestos-Gravimetric 1000 Point Count

The analysis includes an evaluation of bulk building materials for its organic components, inorganic acid-soluble and insoluble components and asbestos concentration based on 1000 point counts (EPA 600/R-93/116). This is a detailed and more labor-intensive technique for estimating asbestos and other components in a building material and is less subjective than a visual estimate. This methodology, increases the accuracy and precision of the asbestos concentration determined in a sample layer. The report will express the percentage of the different asbestos fibers detected based upon a 1000 point count and the final residual weight of the sample. The reported results will include a percentage concentration of the organic, inorganic acid-soluble and insoluble components in the whole sample layer.

Asbestos-airborne fiber count Using Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM)

Asbestos-airborne fiber count (NIOSH 7400)

The analysis includes testing of air samples by Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM). It is used primarily for estimating fiber concentrations in air. Results can be used to show compliance with limits set by NIOSH, OSHA, and other regulatory agencies. The method does not differentiate between asbestos fibers and other fibers. Fibers less than 0.25 microns in diameter will not be detected with this method.

Asbestos-OSHA with TWA

The analysis includes testing of air sampleS for asbestos and other fibers by PCM via NIOSH 7400 and calculating the Time Weighted Average (TWA). TWA’s are used for personnel sampling and the most common objective of performing a TWA sampling is for compliance with OSHA limits. More than one sample per individual is required to perform the TWA analysis. The results of the multiple samples per individual are combined to report the TWA.