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Bulk Asbestos Analysis

Analysis of asbestos in building materials (Bulk Asbestos Analysis) is conducted using polarized light microscopy (PLM) with dispersion staining following procedures based on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Method 9002. This method is referenced as an acceptable analysis method by the WorkSafeBC Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, Section 6.1(a)(ii).

PLM is a widely used method, which utilizes polarized light to observe mineral specific optical properties.  With this method, PLM can differentiate asbestos from non-asbestos fibers and further determine the type of asbestos was found.  In addition, the non-asbestos fibers can also be identified. Using this technique our reported detection limit is 0.5%.

Fibers in Air Analysis

Fibers in air analysis (Fiber Counting) is conducted using phase contrast microscopy (PCM) following procedures based on the NIOSH Method 7400. This method is referenced as an acceptable analysis method by the WorkSafeBC publication, “Safe Work Practices for Handling Asbestos”.

PCM is widely used to measure the fiber concentration of air samples collected at asbestos abatement projects and for environmental monitoring.  This analysis method is fast but it does not distinguish asbestos fibers from non-asbestos fibers. As well fibers with a diameter of less than 0.25 µm will not be detected with this method.  The reference method’s limit of detection is stated as 7 fibers/mm2.

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