After the survey and the sampling procedure of asbestos, whether it is done by a professional or the sampling site owner, the samples will be sent to a trusted laboratory for further asbestos testing and analysis.
IDENTIFICATION OF TYPE OF ASBESTOS PRESENT IN THE SAMPLE
Then the scientists in the laboratory will analyze the type of asbestos present in the sample or see if asbestos is present in the sample at all. Usually, the samples are processed and then observed under the binocular microscope.
The analyst tries to find the suspect asbestos fibers on the sample. If he finds any fibers, he will look for its morphology, shape, and other characteristics. And if it is asbestos,then they will move on further.
And, then the analysts try to identify the type of asbestos on the sample by analyzing and testing the asbestos fibers he just identified.
- Amosite identification
Amosite asbestos presents short, straight, and brown colorfibers that have a paintbrush-like appearance and texture on the ends forming small bundles.
The analyst would first separate the fibers from the sample and they will manipulate them under the microscope. Amosite fibers are quite brittle and shatter quickly. The fiber is then accessed under the light polarized microphone.
Chrysotile is a serpentine form of asbestos which results in much more flexible and curlier-looking fiber. When the analysts find these fibers, they separate it again from the sample. These are then assessed for the splitting nature of asbestos.
Chrysotile has a very silky and soft surface appearance which is called the luster of the chrysotile. Just like Amosite suspects divers of chrysotile are taken into a microscopic slider. Then the whole process is repeated.
The sample of crocidolite is tested under the binocular microscope first and then like the other two types of asbestos its fibers are tested by the analysts.
The fibers of crocidolite are dark blue in color and are straight and like the paintbrush at the ends kind of mimicking the appearance of Amosite.
That’s a brief description of how analysts identify different asbestos fibers in the industry and that doesn’t mean this is the full guide of how laboratories work of how analysts completely do it in the laboratory.There a million other techniques and instrumentation involved.
These are all the main basic steps. There are other complex steps involve in the identification and separation of different asbestos fibers where the whole concepts of rotating are involved and there you can see different lights and distinguish different fibers but those steps are way too complex for a layman understanding.