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BOHS launches analysing asbestos in soils course

13 August 2018

THE BRITISH Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) has developed and launched P408, the first in-depth asbestos in soils analysis training course in the UK.

The P408 Identification and Quantification of Asbestos in Soils using PLM and PCMqualification is the only one currently available to candidates to provide not only awareness but also comprehensive knowledge for analysing asbestos in soils.

To develop this course, BOHS partnered with industry experts such as CL:AIRE, CIRIA and other organisations within the land remediation industry to undertake extensive research, and has also trialled the course with industry personnel. Asbestos still kills around 5,000 workers each year and the UK has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world – a type of cancer linked to asbestos exposure. BOHS, the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, has created various qualifications on asbestos and has identified a significant gap in the market for a qualification which trains people on how to identify and quantify the amount of asbestos in soils for those working in the land remediation industry.

Speaking about the launch of this new qualification, operations manager at ABP Associates Sara Mason said, “This new course is a must for progressive laboratories that want to lead the field in asbestos in soils analysis. This professional module develops the knowledge of experienced soil analysts and enables them to enhance their skills in all stages of asbestos in soils analysis. Contaminated land experts are demanding a better standard of analysis and interpretation of results and this new course provides experienced analysts with the tools to meet that challenge.”

Quality and laboratory manager at AEC Daniel Shuttleworth said, “The P408 successfully brings together multiple disciplines within the asbestos industry to effectively show how the process of soils analysis can be completed in line with current industry standards and expectations. It is particularly helpful in understanding how the methodology of quantification is both similar to that of quantification of respirable fibres in air, and where the methodology differs from this significantly. By the end of the course, there is a full appreciation of the steps needed to allow meaningful results to be reported at the end of the process. In particular, the significant amount of practical demonstration and meaningful exercises carried out during the course, combined with the theory of what is being done and why really sets this course apart.”

BOHS’ qualifications technical advisor, John Lyons said, “The P408 advanced proficiency qualifications extends candidates’ existing knowledge and practical abilities into a new area associated with asbestos – an area that is likely to become more important in the future. Contaminated land and soils are issues that are relatively new to asbestos analysts thus, this course will provide candidates with a new area to apply their analytical expertise. Laboratories that specialise in soil analysis will require the additional expertise to analyse and quantify asbestos in soil samples, and they will greatly benefit from candidates’ specialised knowledge and techniques gained from P408.”

Why it’s needed

Areas of land which were previously built on or have had demolition work carried out on them may not have been properly remediated, and therefore asbestos or other harmful contaminants could be buried within the soil. This advanced course will equip candidates with the knowledge and skills to safely identify and quantify asbestos in soils to a standard consistent with the HSL Asbestos in Soils Scheme (AISS).