Standard Withdrawn, No replacement   Last Updated: Jan 10, 2017
ASTM D5756-02(2008)

Standard Test Method for Microvacuum Sampling and Indirect Analysis of Dust by Transmission Electron Microscopy for Asbestos Mass Surface Loading (Withdrawn 2017)

Significance and Use

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 estimate of the mass surface loading of asbestos in the dust reported as either the mass of asbestos per unit area or as the mass of asbestos per mass of sampled dust as derived from a quantitative TEM analysis.

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.

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.

This definition of dust accepts all particles small enough to pass through a 1 mm screen. Thus, a single, large asbestos-containing particle(s) (from the large end of the particle size distribution) disassembled during sample preparation may result in anomalously large asbestos surface loading results in the TEM analyses of that sample. Conversely, failure to disaggregate large particles may result in anomalously low asbestos mass surface loadings. It is, therefore, recommended that multiple independent samples be 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 either the mass of asbestos per unit area of sampled surface or as the mass of asbestos per mass of sampled dust.

1.1.1 If an estimate of asbestos structure counts is to be determined, the user is referred to Test Method D 5755.

1.2 This test method describes the equipment and procedures necessary for sampling, by a microvacuum technique, non-airborne dust for levels of asbestos. 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. Variability of collection efficiency for any particular substrate and across different types of substrates is also unknown. The effects of sampling efficiency differences and variability on the interpretation of dust sampling measurements have not been determined.

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 starting from approximately 0.24 pg of asbestos per square centimetre (assuming a minimum fiber dimension of 0.5 μm by 0.025 μm, see 17.8), but will vary with the analytical parameters noted in 17.8.

1.4.1 The procedure outlined in this test method employs an indirect sample preparation technique. It is intended to disaggregate and disperse asbestos into fibrils and fiber bundles that can be more accurately identified, counted, and sized by transmission electron microscopy. However, as with all indirect sample preparation techniques, the asbestos observed for quantitation may not represent the physical form of the asbestos as sampled. More specifically, the procedure described neither creates not 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.

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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