Being an independent testing laboratory we have been working in the field of analysing asbestos since 1992 and offer all standard methods for the analysis of air, dust, material, water, asphalt and rock samples for the presence of asbestos.
Analytical services in connection with asbestos
we analyze your samples:
General information about asbestos
The term asbestos describes a group of highly stable, non-flammable minerals with a fibrous structure. Until the early 90ties they were predominantly used in heat insulation material or fire barriers.
Asbestos is also contained in brake linings, clutches, electronic devices, machines and technical installations, heating systems, and, most importantly, in the construction material of numerous buildings.
When entering the lungs asbestos fibres may bring on so-called asbestosis, i.e. the hardening and scarring of connective tissue and eventually cause cancer.
Meanwhile even asbestos surrogates such as man-made mineral fibres (MMMF) have been proven to have a potentially carcinogenic effect.
Advantages of the asbestos analysis by means of SEM/EDX
- Short processing time, as a rule 3 days after sample receipt
- Reliable analysis by scanning electron microscopy, SEM and X-ray micro analysis, EDX
- Court-proof analysis
- Accredited test procedures, regular participation in collaborative studies
Additional information on Analysis of bulk materials and dust samples according to guidelines VDI 3866, part 5:2017-06 and VDI 3877, part 1
Tightly bound asbestos products, cement or Eternit
- Roof coverings (flat or corrugated plates)
- Exterior panelling
- Pipes in all areas of building construction and civil engineering
- Vent pipes and flues (gas heating)
- Gardening products like flower boxes or window sills
Chemical construction products
- Bitumen or roofing and sealing membranes
- Floor tiles (flex tiles), adhesives
- Lutings or even putties
- Joint fillers
- Fillers and sealants
- Coating compounds, anti-corrosion coatings (water engineering)
- Adhesives based on bitumen or resin
weakly bound asbestos products
- Sprayed asbestos or asbestos-containing spray plasters
- Asbestos-containing plasters of light mortars
- Asbestos-containing mats, asbestos boards
- Asbestos –containing light-weight panels
- Loose fill asbestos fibres
- Asbestos-containing sealing strips
- Asbestos-containing cords, strips, fabrics, foams
- Floor tiles with a feltpaper like asbestos base, cushioned vinyls
- Air ventilation ducts made of lightweight building boards
- Fire dampers and fireproofing panels in fire doors
- Protective curtains
- Pipe clamps with inserts
- Parts of night storage heaters
Analysis of filters from ambient air and workplace measurements, analysis of liquids on asbestos and man-made mineral fibres
Analysis of measuring filters (air, liquids) for asbestos and man-made mineral fibres according to guidelines VDI 3492 / VDI 3861 part 2 / BGI 505-46 / ISO 14966
Ambient air measurements in accordance with VDI 3492, ISO 14966
In accordance with
- The asbestos guidelines of the German federal states (“Guideline for the evaluation of weakly bound asbestos containing products – indoors)
Determining the numerical concentration of inorganic fibrous particles in indoor air is necessary to guarantee the success of refurbishment measures and show if preliminary measures have been successful.
These measurements are carried out according to:
- Guideline VDI 3492 “ indoor air measurement – ambient air measurement – measurement of inorganic fibrous particles – scanning electron microscopy method”
Workplace measurements in accordance with DGUV information 213-546 (previously BGI 505-46)
In accordance with the guidelines of
- The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA): Asbestos : regulations for the protection of employees in the Federal Republic of Germany
as well as European Regulations
- Regulation (EC) No 148/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work
workplace measurements in accordance with the German Statutory Accident Insurance
- DGVU information 213-546, previously BGI 505-46, ZH1/120.46 respectively: Air monitoring methods for the separate determination of the concentration of respirable inorganic fibres in working places – SEM method
Emission measurements according to guideline VDI 3861
Determination of low numerical concentrations of inorganic fibrous particles in dry particle-gas-mixtures, e.g. in chimneys, pipes or ducts in accordance with
- Guideline VDI 3861, part 2 “Stationary source emissions: Measurement of inorganic fibrous particles in exhaust gas – Scanning electron microscopy method”.
Asbestos in liquids
The analysis for asbestos in liquids is made following VDI guideline 3492 “ indoor air measurement – ambient air measurement – measurement of inorganic fibrous particles – scanning electron microscopy method”
Qualitative and quantitative Analysis of asbestos bearing plasters, fillers, tile-adhesives according to guidelines VDI 3866 part 5 annex B:2017-06, IFA / BIA-Verfahren 7487, Diskussionspapier VDI / Gesamtverband Schadstoffsanierung, SBH-Method
The SBH-method is a procedure developed by the Schulbau Hamburg eand has been successfully implemented to analyse potentially asbestos-containing plasters and fillers.
Single or mixed samples are prepared by ashing at 400° C and acid treatment in order to concentrate the asbestos content in the sample.
In July, 2015 the SBH-method was accounted for and described in the draft of the recast of guideline VDI 3866. It was enlarged upon in the discussion paper Diskussionspapier des VDI und Gesamtverband Schadstoffsanierung e.V. zu Erkundung, Bewertung und Sanierung asbesthaltiger Putze, Spachtelmassen und Fliesenkleber in Gebäuden von Juni 2015 (“On exploration, evaluation and restructuring of asbestos-containing plasters, fillers and tile adhesives in buildings”, published 2015 by VDI and Gesamtverband Schadstoffsanierung e.V.).
We have been analysing critical materials for years using this preparation and examination method and have gained plenty of experience.
Concealed products like plasters, fillers and tile adhesives
Recently, concealed products plasters, fillers and tile adhesives have been shifted into the focus of attention. Very often small amounts of asbestos were added in order to improve their processing properties.
Therefore, today these asbestos-containing areas are hidden behind wallpapers or only traces can be found like for example in the case of sealed cable slots.
These concealed products pose a serious impact on health to everyone who accidentally works on them with hand or machine tools or in case of improper processing as it may lead to an enormous release of fibres.
In particular those houses are under suspicion that were built, modernized or rehabilitated even after the introduction of the absolute ban on asbestos in 1993, but at least to the year 1995.
A comprehensive description presenting the current state of knowledge is available under:
Diskussionspapier des VDI und Gesamtverband Schadstoffsanierung e.V. zu Erkundung, Bewertung und Sanierung asbesthaltiger Putze, Spachtelmassen und Fliesenkleber in Gebäuden von Juni 2015 (discussion paper on exploration, evaluation and restructuring of asbestos-containing plasters, fillers and tile adhesives in buildings from 2015).
Special demands on the laboratory analysis
Plasters, fillers and tile adhesives to be tested partially contain amounts of asbestos lower than 1%, the asbestos in the samples is present in a polymer matrix or the asbestos is covered by polymer materials. For this reason sample material for laboratory analysis must be prepared by homogenisation, ashing and acid treatment.
In order to reduce the analysis costs it makes sense to prepare mixed samples like mentioned in SBH-method, an analytical regulation that has already been introduced for the examination of school buildings in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg. This procedure however leads to a further dilution of the asbestos contents in the sample. The solution is to apply a procedure with a detection limit lower than 0.01 % by weight.
Analytical options for the analysis for asbestos in plasters, fillers and tile adhesives
We offer three suitable testing procedures based on VDI 3866, part 5, annex B:2017-06. VDI 3866 complies with standards of the IFA / BIA procedure 7487:1997-04 and ISO 22262-2:2014-09.
1. Qualitative analysis in accordance with VDI 3866, part 5, annex B:2017-06
Preparation: Ashing, acid treatment, filtration of a suspension through a sample collection filter
Result: qualitative with an estimation of the asbestos percentage in accordance with the classes of mass percentage of draft VDI 3866, part 5.
2. Quantitative analysis in accordance with VDI 3866, part 5, annex B:2017-06 based on IFA / BIA procedure 7487
Preparation: Ashing, acid treatment, filtration of a suspension through a sample collection filter
Result: quantitative with an indication of the asbestos concentration in mass percentage. Detection limit comparable to IFA / BIA procedure 7487 (0.008%)
3. Quantitative analysis in accordance with VDI 3866, part 5, annex B:2017-06 considering the extended specifications of the VDI and Gesamtverband Schadstoffsanierung e.V. discussion paper on asbestos containing plasters…” from 06/2015.
Preparation: mixed sample, ashing, acid treatment, filtration of a suspension through a sample collection filter. Detection limit < 0,008 %.
Result: quantitative with an indication of the asbestos concentration in mass percentage. Detection limit < 0.008%
Analysis of bulk materials, dust samples
- ISO 22262-1:2012-07 - Air quality - Bulk materials - Part 1: Sampling and qualitative determination of asbestos in commercial bulk materials
- ISO 22262-2:2014-09 - Air quality - Bulk materials - Part 2: Quantitative determination of asbestos by gravimetric and microscopical methods
- DIN ISO 22309:2015-11 - Microbeam analysis - Quantitative analysis using energy-dispersive spectrometry (EDS) for elements with an atomic number of 11 (Na) or above.
- VDI 3866 Blatt 1:2000-12 - Determination of asbestos in technical products - Principle - Sampling and sample preparation
- VDI 3866 Blatt 5:2004-10 - Determination of asbestos in technical products - Scanning electrone microscopy method
- VDI 3866 Blatt 5:2017-06 - Determination of asbestos in technical products - Scanning electrone microscopy method
- VDI 3877 Blatt 1:2011-09 - Indoor air pollution - Measurement of fibrous dust on settled on surfaces - Sampling and analysis (SEM/EDX)
- VDI 3877 Blatt 2:2014-12 - Indoor pollution - Measurement of fibrous dusts settled on surfaces - Sampling strategy and assessment of results
- IFA / BIA 7487 (IFA-Arbeitsmappe, Kennzahl 7487):1997-04 - Verfahren zur analytischen Bestimmung geringer Massengehalte von Asbestfasern in Pulvern, Pudern und Stäuben mit SEM/EDX
Analysis of filters from ambient air, liquids
- ISO 14966:2002-11 - Ambient air - Determination of numerical concentration of inorganic fibrous particles - Scanning electron microscopy method
- VDI 3492:2013-06 - Indoor air measurement - Ambient air measurement - Measurement of inorganic fibrous particles - Scanning electron microscopy method
- VDI 3861 Blatt 2:2008-01 - Stationary source emissions - Measurement of inorganic fibrous particles in exhaust gas - Scanning electron microscopy method
- DGUV Information 213-546 (früher BGI 505-46 bzw. ZH1/120.46) - Analysenverfahren zur getrennten Bestimmung der Konzentrationen von lungengängigen anorganischen Fasern in Arbeitsbereichen – Rasterelektronenmikroskopisches Verfahren
- TRGS 517:2013-02 - Tätigkeiten mit potenziell asbesthaltigen mineralischen Rohstoffen und daraus hergestellten Gemischen und Erzeugnissen
- TRGS 519:2014-01 - Asbest: Abbruch-, Sanierungs- oder Instandhaltungsarbeiten
- TRGS 905:2016-03 - Verzeichnis krebserzeugender, keimzellmutagener oder reproduktionstoxischer Stoffe
- Gefahrstoffverordnung:2015-03 - Verordnung zum Schutz vor Gefahrstoffen (Gefahrstoffverordnung – GefStoffV)
- NGS - Merkblatt zur Entsorgung von teerhaltigem Straßenaufbruch, Stand 05/2016
- NGS - Merkblatt zur Entsorgung von asbesthaltigen Abfällen, Stand 04/2016
- Umweltbundesamt – Informationen zum Thema Asbest