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Asbestos analysis gives reassurance

18 September 2018

Lucion Services says that its powerful scanning electron microscopy (SEM) can more effectively measure occupational exposure concentrations for asbestos in workplace premises than other techniques.

SEM enables asbestos in air to be quantified to very low levels, typically achieving lower limits of detection to 0.0005 fibres/ cm3 and below, compared to the 0.01 fibres/cm3 capability of standard phase contrast microscopy (PCOM). SEM can also distinguish between different asbestos fibre types and other non-organic fibres.

The company says that current analysis using standard PCOM has a limit of detection that is wholly unsuitable for risk assessment in an occupied environment and is only valid for asbestos removal monitoring.

In such circumstances, SEM’s ability to more accurately determine whether asbestos fibres are present means it can better identify the level of any risk that might be present – and what remedial actions are required.

Used in this way, air monitoring using SEM enables actual and direct asbestos risk measurements to be made in specific building locations. This is turn can be used to prioritise risk and target spending on remedial works and provide the reassurance that those present in the building are not being exposed to harmful fibre levels.