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AIR SAMPLE COLLECTION
Monitoring air in and around work areas during asbestos removal is a critical step in ensuring your workers’ safety. We will sample your air quality and expedite analysis in our lab. Airborne samples can be taken either “occupational”, or “ambient”. Occupational samples are normally taken from a small apparatus attached to a worker while they are working, whereas ambient samples are taken from a larger stationary apparatus normally placed on the floor of the work space with a stand to elevate the sample. The same type of laboratory analysis can be applied to both types of samples.
AIR QUALITY TESTING (PCM)
Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) is widely used to measure fibre concentrations of air samples. This is sometimes done right at asbestos abatement sites. Air sampling is conducted for environmental monitoring, personnel monitoring, and clearance testing for abatement projects. It is used to show your compliance with limits set by Alberta Health Services, NIOSH, and other regulatory agencies.
The PCM technique has the advantage of fast turnaround time and low cost. Although PCM is the most widely used technique, it cannot distinguish asbestos fibres from other fibres (ex: gypsum, mineral wool, fibreglass, cellulose etc.). Consequently, an analysis by PCM indicating high fibre counts does not necessarily indicate elevated levels of asbestos. Likewise, low fibre counts by PCM can not conclude an asbestos free environment. PCM merely provides an index of the total airborne fibres present in a given size range.
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