Types of asbestos surveys and testing methods

Asbestos testing methods 

Phase-contrast Microscopy

Phrase Contrast Microscopy abbreviated as PCM is the asbestos testing method that will give you an overall concentration of fibers of different elements in the building components. One will not get the data of asbestos fibers present in the building components specifically. However, he could get to know the total amount of different fibers present in the building particles. There will be microscopic equipment that can magnify the subject 400 times. If you want to know the exact amount of asbestos fibers in the sample, you would have to employ Transmission Electron Microscopy that will be a bit costly. If you are satisfied with the overall concentration of the fibers, this technique will be the most economical one among the techniques used for testing asbestos concentrations.

Polarized Light Microscopy

Polarized Light Microscopy, abbreviated as PCM is the asbestos testing method that will provide the concentration of asbestos fibers present in the bulk building materials. The concept of identification is simple. When you pass polarized light through building materials., the various fibers will reflect it and will show different optical properties. The testers will use this optical information to determine the number of asbestos fibers present in it. Since asbestos will respond differently to polarized light comparing to other fibers, this test can give you a direct amount of asbestos fibers in these building materials. This method of asbestos testing is considered the most economical way of doing it.

Asbestos survey types

Asbestos management survey


It is the survey of amounts of asbestos present in the building to confirm that no one involved in the operations of renovating the home is getting affected. You can get documentation that explains the amounts of asbestos present, levels of risks associated with it, and safety measures to take.

Demolition survey or Refurbishment survey

Asbestos becomes harmful only when it is disturbed. If you are demolishing or renovating a building, you are doing the same. So, all the asbestos molecules present in that building will get disturbed, and hence, the air will be contaminated with the asbestos fibers. If you inhale this air, you will get cancer. So, you have to test the amounts of asbestos in your building using several testing methods. Once you look at the results of these tests, you will know the type of process you have to carry out to reduce the emission of asbestos fibers into the air. Such a survey is called a demolition or refurbishment survey.

Residential asbestos survey


When you are owning a home, you have to be clear about the levels of asbestos in it. You may think of renovating the building after some time. So, it will be helpful in such cases.

Reinspection asbestos survey

It is the act of surveying the building again after an initial survey to ensure that the asbestos levels are not showing any deterioration and the building is safe. You have to conduct reinspection surveys to maintain the low-risks of asbestos in the building.

Post Author: Rosa Tristen