Laboratory Testing for Asbestos

Laboratory testing for asbestos

The techniques employed to accurately quantify asbestos in a sample may vary depending on the analytical requirements and the nature of the asbestos present. The respirable fibre count is the number of fibres per gram of soil that would be classed as respirable if they became airborne, and is therefore a useful addition to risk assessments.

  • Stage 1 – Identification using Polarised Light Microscopy (PLM).
  • Stage 2 – Quantification of asbestos containing materials (ACM) and asbestos fibre bundles in soil.
  •  Stage 3 – Quantification of Free/Dispersed fibre content of soil using Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCOM).
  •  Stage 4 – Quantification of Respirable Fibre content of soil using Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCOM).


Quantification involves two different techniques:

  • Gravimetric quantification of ACMs identified by PLM
  • Free/dispersed fibre evaluation and respirable fibre content by PCOM

Our employees hold a minimum of the BOHS P401 qualification, plus designated staff are further trained to be qualified to BOHS P402, P403, P404, P405 and CoCa, as may be required.

Nicholls Colton Group participates in the proficiency testing schemes AIMS (Asbestos in Materials Scheme) and AISS (Asbestos in Soils Scheme).