Work Item
ASTM WK86059

New Test Method for The Gravimetric Reduction Preparation of Materials for Asbestos Analysis

1. Scope

1.1 The purpose of this method is to determine the presence or absence of asbestos in non-friable organically bound materials (NOB) and, if present, determine the type and percentage.

1.2 This method is applicable to both chrysotile and amphibole asbestos.

1.3 This test method describes the gravimetric reduction preparation procedure, identification, and quantification of asbestos by both polarized light microscopy (PLM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

1.4 The analytical sensitivity of this method is dependent on the gravimetric reduction preparation procedure, specifically how much material was removed during the process.

1.5 This method does not address sample collection, safety, or transportation of samples.

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 known carcinogens. Breathing asbestos fibers can result in disease of the lungs including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Precautions should be taken to avoid liberating 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.


Gravimetric Asbestos


Rationale: This method is based on, and incorporates both, the New York State Department of Health’s (NYSDOH) Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) methods 198.4 and ELAP 198.6 into one international standard. Those methods were a continuation of work initiated by Dr. Eric J. Chatfield in the 1980’s and 1990’s. This newly proposed laboratory method, the first for ASTM, is a gravimetric reduction method designed to eliminate interfering matrix material often encountered during asbestos analysis. It has a PLM and TEM analytical component. The elimination of organic and acid soluble materials makes it easier to quantify the percentage of asbestos. The elimination of these interfering matrix materials can make it easier to record the optical properties of asbestos by PLM analysis. The TEM analysis component allows the analyst to discern asbestos minerals too small to be resolved by optical microscopy. The combination of PLM and TEM analysis reduces the chances of false negatives. The standard is intended for the analysis of bulk building materials but can be used for other materials.

The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.


Developed by Subcommittee: D22.07

Committee: D22

Staff Manager: Ashley Wiand

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 04-21-2023

Technical Contact: Andreas Saldivar