Quantitative evaluation of the relative effectiveness of various methods for the analysis of asbestos in settled dust
Methods for the analysis of asbestos in settled dust have been under development for several years. Most recently, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has taken the lead in the development of several new methos for sampling and analyzing settled dust. The ASTM methods describe sampling strategies including microvacuuming, tape collection, and passive collection. The analysis of the dust uses transmission electron microscopy (TEM) because of the potential small dimensions of the asbestos fibers. Results are expressed as the number of fibrous asbestos structures per square centimeter, the mass of fibrous asbestos structures per square centimeter, or asbestos mass as a percentage of the toal dust mass. Two of these ASTM methods have recently been completed. This study utilizes laboratory-created samples to provide an objective analysis of the relative effectiveness of three new methods for quantifying asbestos in settled dust.