Asbestos PLM and PCM Testing and Analysis

Aerobiology Laboratory offers PLM and PCM testing for asbestos containing materials at our Virginia, Phoenix, California and Colorado locations. All four of these locations are NVLAP accredited.

Our California location is open on Saturday from 9:00 am – 5:30pm and our accreditations can be found here. 

Bulk Samples:

Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) EPA/600/R-93/116

This method is used to determine the percent asbestos in bulk building materials and works well for most non-organically bound materials. The sample is first examined under a stereo microscope to determine homogeneity, texture, friability, color, preliminary fiber identification, possible asbestos type, and the semi-quantification of content. If necessary, the sample is homogenized and possibly pulverized. For materials containing high organic content, ashing may be used to remove interfering material. If it is determined that more then one layer is present within the sample, then the layers are separated to be analyze independently. A portion of the sample is then mounted in a refractive index oil. This mount is then examined under a polarized light microscope where the analyst observes specific optical characteristics of any fibers present in the sample to determine if they are asbestos and of which type. If asbestos is identified then the fiber’s optical properties are measured. Results are given as a percentage for asbestos by a visual area estimation. The PLM method is not applicable for samples containing large amounts of fine fibers below the resolution of < 0.3 microns. If materials such as floor tiles, glazing, and mastics are found to be None Detect, the lab recommends a TEM analysis.

 

Point Counts by PLM EPA/600/R-93/116

The EPA/600/R-93/116 method contains a section on Point Counts. This procedure is used to better characterize bulk materials that contain Trace to 1% asbestos. It is only applicable to friable bulk materials, but not to floor tiles or materials with organic binder, such as roofing tars or mastics. For this method an ocular reticle is used to visually superimpose a point or points on to the microscope field of view. The slide mount is then examined by a scanning technique that adequately covers the sample mount area. The analyst counts points directly over nonempty areas on the slide mount. The analyst records the type of particle observed at each point and two tally counts are created by the analyst. One is the total amount of points that land in nonempty areas and the other is how many points land on an asbestos fiber. The asbestos percentage is determined by dividing the number of asbestos points by the total number of points counted. The minimum amount of points counted is 400, but we do offer a 1,000-point count method.

Test CodeTurnaround TimeTest NameTest Code DescriptionSamples Accepted at:
300124 HourBulk, PLM, Point Count 400, TAT 24 hourEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
300148 HourBulk, PLM, Point Count 400, TAT 2 DayEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
30015-7 DaysBulk, PLM, Point Count 400, TAT 5-7 DayEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
30016 HourBulk, PLM, Point Count 400, TAT 6 hourEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
30015-7 DaysBulk, PLM, Point Count 400, TAT 5-7 DayEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
300148 HourBulk, PLM, Point Count 400, TAT 2 DayEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
300124 HourBulk, PLM, Point Count 400, TAT 24 hourEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
30016 HourBulk, PLM, Point Count 400, TAT 6 hourEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
3001A6 HourBulk, PLM, Point Count 1000, Colorado Only, TAT 5 DayEPA Method 600/R-93/116Colorado
3001A24 HourBulk, PLM, Point Count 1000, TAT 24 hourEPA Method 600/R-93/116; performed on any bulk material EXCEPT floor tiles or tar-impregnated materials (e.g., tar or black mastic)Colorado
3001A2-3 DayBulk, PLM, Point Count 1000, TAT 2 DayEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
3001A5-7 DaysBulk, PLM, Point Count 1000, TAT 5-7 DayEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
3001A24 HourBulk, PLM, Point Count 1000, TAT 24 hourEPA Method 600/R-93/116; performed on any bulk material EXCEPT floor tiles or tar-impregnated materials (e.g., tar or black mastic)Colorado
3001A5-7 DaysBulk, PLM, Point Count 1000, TAT 5-7 DayEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
3001A6 HourBulk, PLM, Point Count 1000, Colorado Only, TAT 5 DayEPA Method 600/R-93/116Colorado
3001A2-3 DayBulk, PLM, Point Count 1000, TAT 2 DayEPA Method 600/R-93/116Arizona; California; Virginia
3002Bulk, PLM, TAT 3 HourEPA Method 600/R93/116Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
3002Same DayBulk, PLM, TAT Same DayEPA Method 600/R93/117Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
300224 HourBulk, PLM, Colorado Only TAT 24 hourEPA Method 600/R93/118Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
30022 HourBulk, PLM, TAT 2 hourEPA Method 600/R93/119Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
300224 HourBulk, PLM Particle Characterization, TAT 24 hourEPA Method 600/R93/120Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
30025-7 DaysBulk, PLM, TAT 5-7 DayEPA Method 600/R93/121Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
30025-7 DaysBulk, PLM, Colorado Only, TAT 5 DayEPA Method 600/R93/122Colorado
300224 HourBulk, PLM, Colorado Only TAT 4 hourEPA Method 600/R93/123Colorado
300224 HourBulk, PLM, TAT 24 hourEPA Method 600/R93/124Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
3002Same DayBulk, PLM, TAT Same DayEPA Method 600/R93/125Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
300224 HourBulk, PLM, Colorado Only TAT 24 hourEPA Method 600/R93/126Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
30022 HourBulk, PLM, TAT 2 hourEPA Method 600/R93/127Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
30025-7 DaysBulk, PLM, TAT 5-7 DayEPA Method 600/R93/128Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
3002Bulk, PLM, TAT 3 HourEPA Method 600/R93/129Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
30025-7 DaysBulk, PLM, Colorado Only, TAT 5 DayEPA Method 600/R93/116Colorado
300224 HourBulk, PLM, Colorado Only TAT 4 hourEPA Method 600/R93/116Colorado
300224 HourBulk, PLM, TAT 24 hourEPA Method 600/R93/116Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
30035-7 DaysBulk, PLM Particle Charaterization, TAT 5-7 DayEPA Method 600/R93/116Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
30032-3 DayBulk, PLM Particle Characterization, TAT 2 DayEPA Method 600/R93/116Arizona; California; Colorado; Virginia
30045-7 DaysAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, TAT 5-7 DayNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersVirginia
300424 HourAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, TAT 24 hourNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersVirginia
3004Same DayAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, TAT Same DayNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersVirginia
30042 HourAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, TAT 2 hourNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersColorado; Virginia
30044 HourAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, Colorado Only, TAT 4 hourNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersColorado
30045-7 DaysAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, Colorado Only, TAT 5 DayNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersColorado
30045-7 DaysAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, TAT 5-7 DayNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersVirginia
300424 HourAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, TAT 24 hourNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersVirginia
3004Same DayAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, TAT Same DayNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersVirginia
30042 HourAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, TAT 2 hourNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersColorado; Virginia
30044 HourAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, Colorado Only, TAT 4 hourNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersColorado
30045-7 DaysAir, PCM, NIOSH 7400, Colorado Only, TAT 5 DayNIOSH Method 7400, quantification of airborne fibersColorado
30053 DayAir, Total Dust Analysis, NiOSH 0500, TAT 3 DaysTotal dust analysis by gravimetric of air samples.California
Z008BAAsbestos PCM Cassette, Individual
Z008BAAsbestos PCM Cassette box of 50
Z008BAAsbestos PCM Cassette box of 50
Z008BAAsbestos PCM Cassette, Individual
Z045CCAir-O-Cell Cassette Individual
Z045CC25mm Micro-Vac Carpet/Dust Sampling Cassettes
ZA0059Dust Collector
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