Asbestos analysis differs significantly from other analytical services and methods in the laboratory. It’s much more ‘subjective’ in its assessment, and as such requires a higher level of experience, as there is an aspect of interpretation. This is particularly true when counting respirable fibre using the Membrane Filter Method (MFM), as well as the initial assessment of fibre during bulk identification when assessing fibre morphology. As such, the use of high powered digital imaging and video retrofitted to our Stereo, PLM and PCM’s has been an exciting introduction to both our Auckland and Tauranga laboratories.
The use of these cameras makes it extremely easy to train staff, whether they are new to analysis, or if we are brushing up our skills with in-house technical training. The use of the cameras allows quick and easy quality assurance when staff need to reviewing each others work.
The cameras have also been invaluable when reviewing tricky low percentage non-homogenous samples such as vinyl tiles, stipple ceilings and jointing compound. It may take an analyst up to 20-30 mins to find one bundle of chrysotile in a plaster sample, and so easy to lose it’s position. Now with our new found love for photography, these microscopy bundles can be captured and archived with the sample result and information.
Check out the image below of an asbestos bundle in vinyl tile using this technology 👇