Environmental Protection

ASTM Standard Tells How to Use Asbestos Testing Data

A new ASTM International standard provides guidance for using data generated by ASTM standards in testing for asbestos in surface dust. ASTM D 7390, Guide for Evaluating Asbestos in Dust on Surfaces by Comparison Between Two Environments, was approved by ASTM International Committee D22 on Air Quality, part of Subcommittee D22.07 on Sampling and Analysis of Asbestos.

According to James Millette, executive director, MVA Scientific Consultants, and chair of Subcommittee D22.07 on Sampling and Analysis of Asbestos, D 7390 can be used to help define the extent of asbestos contamination in a building after the asbestos has been measured using one of the following ASTM standards:

• D 5755, Test Method for Microvacuum Sampling and Indirect Analysis of Dust by Transmission Electron Microscopy for Asbestos Structure Number Surface Loading;

• D 5756, Test Method for Microvacuum Sampling and Indirect Analysis of Dust by Transmission Electron Microscopy for Asbestos Mass Concentration; and

• D 6480, Test Method for Wipe Sampling of Surfaces, Indirect Preparation, and Analysis for Asbestos Structure Number Concentration by Transmission Electron Microscopy.

"After measuring the amount of asbestos in surface dust at various points in a facility where an asbestos release is thought to have occurred, D 7390 can be used to make sense of the data," says Millette. Building owners and their contamination consultants will find ASTM D 7390 useful, particularly when they are considering whether an area in a building has more asbestos in the dust than another area.

Subcommittee D22.07 invites all interested parties to join in its standards developing activities, particularly those with expertise in asbestos analysis, statistical handling of data, and design of contamination studies.

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