Standard Historical Last Updated: Jun 02, 2016 Track Document
ASTM D7521-13

Standard Test Method for Determination of Asbestos in Soil

Standard Test Method for Determination of Asbestos in Soil D7521-13 ASTM|D7521-13|en-US Standard Test Method for Determination of Asbestos in Soil Standard new BOS Vol. 11.07 Committee D22
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Significance and Use

5.1 This analysis method is used for the testing of soil samples for asbestos. The emphasis is on detection and analysis of sieved particles for asbestos in the soil. Debris identifiable as bulk building material that is readily separable from the soil is to be analyzed and reported separately.

5.2 The coarse fraction of the sample (>2 to <19 mm) may contain large pieces of asbestos-containing material that may release fibers and break down during the sieving process into smaller pieces that pass through the 2-mm sieve into the medium fraction. If this alteration of the original sample is not desired by the investigator, these pieces should be removed from the sample before sieving and returned to the coarse fraction before analysis.

5.3 This test method does not describe procedures or techniques required to evaluate the safety or habitability of buildings or outdoor areas potentially contaminated with asbestos-containing materials or compliance with federal, state, or local regulations or statutes. It is the investigator's responsibility to make these determinations.

5.4 Whereas this test method produces results that may be used for evaluation of sites contaminated by construction, mine, and manufacturing wastes; deposits of natural occurrences of asbestos; and other sources of interest to the investigator, the application of the results to such evaluations and the conclusions drawn there from, including any assessment of risk or liability, is beyond the scope of this test method and is the responsibility of the investigator.


1.1 This test method covers a procedure to: (1) identify asbestos in soil, (2) provide an estimate of the concentration of asbestos in the sampled soil (dried), and (3) optionally to provide a concentration of asbestos reported as the number of asbestos structures per gram of sample.

1.2 In this test method, results are produced that may be used for evaluation of sites contaminated by construction, mine and manufacturing wastes, deposits of natural occurrences of asbestos (NOA), and other sources of interest to the investigator.

1.3 This test method describes the gravimetric, sieve, and other laboratory procedures for preparing the soil for analysis as well as the identification and quantification of any asbestos detected. Pieces of collected soil and material embedded therein that pass through a 19-mm sieve will become part of the sample that is analyzed and for which results are reported.

1.3.1 Asbestos is identified and quantified by polarized light microscopy (PLM) techniques including analysis of morphology and optical properties. Optional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) identification and quantification of asbestos is based on morphology, selected area electron diffraction (SAED), and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA). Some information about fiber size may also be determined. The PLM and TEM methods use different definitions and size criteria for fibers and structures. Separate data sets may be produced.

1.4 This test method has an analytical sensitivity of 0.25 % by weight with optional procedures to allow for an analytical sensitivity of 0.1 % by weight.

1.5 This test method does not purport to address sampling strategies or variables associated with soil environments. Such considerations are the responsibility of the investigator collecting and submitting the sample. Appendix X2 covering elements of soil sampling and good field practices is attached.

1.6 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. Other units may be cited in the method for informational purposes only.

1.7 Hazards—Asbestos fibers are acknowledged carcinogens. Breathing asbestos fibers can result in disease of the lungs including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Precautions should be taken to avoid creating and breathing airborne asbestos particles when sampling and analyzing materials suspected of containing asbestos.

1.8 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: 13
DOI: 10.1520/D7521-13
ICS Code: 13.080.05