Asbestos analysis using scanning electron microscopy
Asbestos is the broader term for a range of natural, fibrous silicate minerals, which can be used as building materials after further processing. The diameter of the asbestos fibers is approximately 2 micrometers. Its exceptional chemical resilience is due to its extremely high tensile strength, as well as its elasticity and heat stability at temperatures up to 1000°C. Its good binding properties with other materials were another reason that asbestos started to be used in the 1930s in numerous products, such as fiber cement, plates for construction, coatings for brakes and clutches, sealants and molding materials.
After it was conclusively determined in 1970 that asbestos was carcinogenic, its use was banned step-by-step in all products. The extremely thin fibers break up into ever smaller pieces, enabling them to be inhaled. Asbestos fibers can remain in the lungs over longer periods and irritate the lung tissue. The result: a condition called “asbestosis” or even lung cancer can occur. The latency period, i.e. the time until the onset of the disease, is relatively long: up to 40 years. Therefore, asbestos fiber contamination should be identified as early as possible.
The GBA Group currently offers asbestos analysis by means of scanning electron microscopy at two sites in Germany. You have the choice between several different limits of detection ranging between 1% and 0.001%. Which limit of detection is appropriate depends strongly on the matrix to be analyzed.
In addition to the qualitative procedure, we also offer two different quantitative analyses for determining the exact asbestos content, using methods in accordance with VDI 3866 Sheet 5 Annex B and BIA 7487.
Your waste disposal contractor will inform you which method is the right one for you. At that point, our sales and customer service representatives at the GBA Group will gladly support you with your project.