Differentiating Amphibole Asbestos from Non-Asbestos in a Complex Mineral Environment

Publication Information:

Van Orden, D.R., K. A. Allison and R. J. Lee, “Differentiating Amphibole Asbestos from Non-Asbestos in a Complex Mineral Environment”, Indoor and Built Environment, Vol. 17(1), pp. 58-68, 2007. DOI: 10.1177/1420326X07087006

Year: 2007

Extending the TEM methods designed for the evalua- tion of atmospheres in which any primary mineral fibers present are derived from a commercial asbestos fiber is a challenging task. This is because the methods employed leave it to the expertise of the user to identify and evaluate interferences. Improper analysis of non- construction materials for asbestos content often results in the misidentification of non-asbestos amphi- bole particles as asbestos fibers. These errors have received widespread publicity in the media (such as the asbestos-in-crayons story) and have caused unwar- ranted reformulation of harmless products. The primary cause of these errors has been a poor understanding of mineralogy and analytical techniques among the many asbestos laboratories that arose following the passage of the ‘Asbestos Hazardous Emergency Response Act’ (AHERA) regulations. This study outlines a procedure based on published data that can be used to correctly