ASTM D6480 - 05(2010)

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

    Active Standard ASTM D6480 | Developed by Subcommittee: D22.07

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.07


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    Significance and Use

    This wipe sampling and indirect analysis test method is used for the general testing of surfaces for asbestos. It is used to assist in the evaluation of surfaces in buildings, such as ceiling tiles, shelving, electrical components, duct work, and so forth. This test method provides an index of the concentration of asbestos structures per unit area sampled as derived from a quantitative measure of the number of asbestos structures detected during analysis.

    This test method does not describe procedures or techniques required for the evaluation of the safety or habitability of buildings with asbestos-containing materials, or compliance with federal, state, or local regulations or statutes. It is the user's responsibility to make these determinations.

    At present, a single direct relationship between asbestos sampled from a surface and potential human exposure does not exist. Accordingly, the user should consider these data in relationship to other available information (for example, air sampling data) in their evaluation.

    One or more large asbestos-containing particles dispersed during sample preparation may result in large asbestos surface loading results in the TEM analyses of that sample. It is, therefore, recommended that multiple replicate independent samples be secured in the same area, and that a minimum of three such samples be analyzed by the entire procedure.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers a procedure to identify asbestos in samples wiped from surfaces and to provide an estimate of the concentration of asbestos reported as the number of asbestos structures per unit area of sampled surface. The procedure outlined in this test method employs an indirect sample preparation technique. It is intended to disperse aggregated asbestos into fundamental fibrils, fiber bundles, clusters, or matrices. However, as with all indirect sample preparation techniques, the asbestos observed for quantification may not represent the physical form of the asbestos as sampled. More specifically, the procedure described neither creates nor destroys asbestos, but it may alter the physical form of the mineral fiber aggregates.

    1.2 This test method describes the equipment and procedures necessary for wipe sampling of surfaces for levels of asbestos structures. The sample is collected onto a particle-free wipe material (wipe) from the surface of a sampling area that may contain asbestos.

    1.2.1 The collection efficiency of this wipe sampling technique is unknown and will vary among substrates. Properties influencing collection efficiency include surface texture, adhesiveness, and other factors.

    1.2.2 This test method is generally applicable for an estimate of the surface loading of asbestos structures starting from approximately 1000 asbestos structures per square centimetre.

    1.3 Asbestos identification by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is based on morphology, electron diffraction (ED), and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA).

    1.4 This test method allows determination of the type(s) of asbestos fibers present.

    1.4.1 This test method cannot always discriminate between individual fibers of the asbestos and nonasbestos analogues of the same amphibole mineral.

    1.4.2 There is no lower limit to the dimensions of asbestos fibers that can be detected. However, in practice, the lower limit to the dimensions of asbestos fibers, that can be detected, is variable and dependent on individual microscopists. Therefore, a minimum length of 0.5 μm has been defined as the shortest fiber to be incorporated in the reported results.

    1.5 This test method does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this test method to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D1193 Specification for Reagent Water

    D1356 Terminology Relating to Sampling and Analysis of Atmospheres

    D3670 Guide for Determination of Precision and Bias of Methods of Committee D22

    Government Standard

    40CFR763,USEPA, Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools: Final Rule and Notice, Appendix A to Sub-part E

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Standards

    EPA747-R-95-001 USEPA, Residential Sampling for Lead: Protocols for Dust and Soil Sampling: Final Report


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.300 (Protection against dangerous goods)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 41111721(Transmission electron microscopes)


    DOI: 10.1520/D6480-05R10

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