Development of the releasable asbestos field sampler
The releasable asbestos field sampler (RAFS) was developed as an alternative to activity-based sampling (ABS; personal breathing zone sampling during a simulated activity). The RAFS utilizes a raking motion to provide the energy that releases particulate material from the soil and aerosolizes the asbestos fibers. A gentle airflow laterally transports the generated aerosol inside of a tunnel to one end where filter sampling cassettes or real-time instruments are used to measure asbestos and particulate release. The RAFS was tested in a series of laboratory experiments to validate its performance and then was deployed for field trials in asbestos-contaminated soil at multiple geographical locations. Laboratory data showed the RAFS generated repeatable and representative aerosol particulate concentrations. Field tests showed the RAFS aerosolized asbestos concentrations were statistically correlated with total particle concentrations. Field tests also showed the RAFS aerosolized asbestos concentrations were statistically correlated with asbestos concentrations measured by multiple ABS tests with different activities, different soil/environmental conditions, and at different geographical locations. RAFS provides a direct measurement of asbestos emission from soil in situ without consideration of meteorology and personal activity on the asbestos transport to the breathing zone.