“Asbestos Analysis Methods”

2006:50: Millette

SChapter 2. In: Asbestos: Risk Assessment, Epidemiology, and Health Effects, R.F. Dodson and S.P. Hammar, Eds., CRC, Taylor&Francis, Boca Roton, Fl. pp:9-38


The value of a standard method is that it defines procedures in such a way that different laboratories working independently will achieve similar results when using the same method. There are over 30 different “standard” methods available for the analysis of asbestos in a variety of media. The methods include those for determining the amount of asbestos in air, water, bulk building materials, surface dust, carpet, soil, and specific product materials such as vermiculite and talc. Some methods, although in draft or interim forms, have become generally recognized and used as standard methods by the analytical community.

Governmental agencies, such as the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the New York State Department of Health, have promulgated some of the methods. Consensus standards groups such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the International Standards Organization (ISO), and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) have published other methods. A number of methods have gained acceptance after being published in the scientific literature. Which method to use in a particular situation depends on the media to be tested and level of information required.

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