Standard Active Last Updated: Jul 26, 2019
ASTM D5755-09(2014)e1

Standard Test Method for Microvacuum Sampling and Indirect Analysis of Dust by Transmission Electron Microscopy for Asbestos Structure Number Surface Loading

Significance and Use

5.1 This microvacuum sampling and indirect analysis method is used for the general testing of non-airborne dust samples for asbestos. It is used to assist in the evaluation of dust that may be found on surfaces in buildings such as ceiling tiles, shelving, electrical components, duct work, carpet, etc. This test method provides an index of the surface loading of asbestos structures in the dust per unit area analyzed as derived from a quantitative TEM analysis.

5.1.1 This test method does not describe procedures or techniques required to evaluate 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.

5.1.2 At present, no relationship has been established between asbestos-containing dust as measured by this test method and potential human exposure to airborne asbestos. Accordingly, the users should consider other available information in their interpretation of the data obtained from this test method.

5.2 This definition of dust accepts all particles small enough to pass through a 1-mm (No. 18) screen. Thus, a single, large asbestos containing particle(s) (from the large end of the particle size distribution) dispersed during sample preparation may result in anomalously large asbestos surface loading results in the TEM analyses of that sample. It is, therefore, recommended that multiple independent samples are secured from the same area, and that a minimum of three samples be analyzed by the entire procedure.


1.1 This test method covers a procedure to (a) identify asbestos in dust and (b) provide an estimate of the surface loading of asbestos in the sampled dust reported as the number of asbestos structures per unit area of sampled surface.

1.1.1 If an estimate of the asbestos mass is to be determined, the user is referred to Test Method D5756.

1.2 This test method describes the equipment and procedures necessary for sampling, by a microvacuum technique, non-airborne dust for levels of asbestos structures. The non-airborne sample is collected inside a standard filter membrane cassette from the sampling of a surface area for dust which may contain asbestos.

1.2.1 This procedure uses a microvacuuming sampling technique. The collection efficiency of this technique is unknown and will vary among substrates. Properties influencing collection efficiency include surface texture, adhesiveness, electrostatic properties and other factors.

1.3 Asbestos identified by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is based on morphology, selected area electron diffraction (SAED), and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA). Some information about structure size is also determined.

1.4 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.

1.4.1 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 that can be more accurately quantified by transmission electron microscopy. 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 fibers.

1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

1.6 This standard 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 standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.07
Developed by Subcommittee: D22.07
Pages: 14
DOI: 10.1520/D5755-09R14E01
ICS Code: 13.040.20