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Advanced Asbestos Identification (1608B)

“I was very pleased with every aspect. The information was taught well; enjoyed my instructor as well as other staff members.” — Natalie B.

“I am much more comfortable with the scope and infinitely more familiar with asbestos fibers than I was a week ago.” — Student review


Course schedule: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Friday

In this advanced course, using polarized light microscopy (PLM), students learn to identify and differentiate among all asbestos fibers and fibrous substitutes through review of basic theory and inclusion of more advanced methods. Immersion techniques for refractive index measurement are emphasized, including the construction and interpretation of dispersion staining graphs. Various sample preparation and quantitation techniques are introduced including gravimetric methods. Heated and chemically altered samples, floor tiles and other complex matrices are covered.

Airborne asbestos is covered in Asbestos Fiber Counting [NIOSH 582] (1616).

4.5 CM credits

Course 1608A or the consent of the instructor is the prerequisite for this course.

Day 1
Review of techniques for measuring the matching wavelengths: retardation, birefringence, extinction angle, sign of elongation

Day 2
• Study of asbestos look-alikes: mineral wool, ceramic fibers, talc fibers, pulped Kevlar, polyethylene, etc.
• Study of fibrous non-asbestos minerals: wollastonite, brucite, double sulfates
• Study of non-fibrous serpentines and amphiboles

Day 3
• Study of weathered and heated asbestos
• Study of tough asbestos insulation samples illustrating above areas

Day 4
Practice in the above techniques and work on unknowns

Day 5
Practice in the above techniques and work on unknowns