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Magazines & Newsletters / ASTM Standardization News


May/June 2008

Guide Provides Means to Analyze Asbestos Data

Amosite Asbestos

Amosite Asbestos

A new ASTM International standard provides guidance for using data generated by ASTM standards in testing for asbestos in surface dust. ASTM D7390, Guide for Evaluating Asbestos in Dust on Surfaces by Comparison Between Two Environments, was developed by Subcommittee D22.07 on Sampling and Analysis of Asbestos, part of ASTM International Committee D22 on Air Quality.

According to James Millette, executive director, MVA Scientific Consultants, and chair of Subcommittee D22.07, D7390 can be used to help define the extent of asbestos contamination in a building after the asbestos has been measured using the following ASTM standards:

  • D5755, Test Method for Microvacuum Sampling and Indirect Analysis of Dust by Transmission Electron Microscopy for Asbestos Structure Number Surface Loading;
  • D5756, Test Method for Microvacuum Sampling and Indirect Analysis of Dust by Transmission Electron Microscopy for Asbestos Mass Concentration; and
  • D6480, 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, D7390 can be used to make sense of the data,” says Millette. “It applies some statistical tests to the data that allow scientifically valid conclusions to be determined.” Building owners and their contamination consultants will find ASTM D7390 useful, particularly when they are considering whether an area in a building has more asbestos in the dust than another area.

Chrysotile Asbestos

Chrysotile Asbestos

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. “Currently we have a very active group working on reaching consensus on a method for asbestos in soil,” says Millette.


Technical Information: James Millette, MVA Scientific Consultants, Duluth, Ga.

Phone: 770/662-8509

ASTM Staff: George Luciw

Phone: 610/832-9710