LQM’s Dr Richard Ogden provided a introductory framework for expert presentations by Jane Tierney (IOM) and Steve Clark (IOM) at the Ciria’s Asbestos in Soil Masterclass in Edinburgh last week. This was the first in a series of 5 events looking in detail at specific areas in relation to the investigation, analysis, assessment and remediation of asbestos-containing soils. This first masterclass, presented by the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), focussed on the analysis of asbestos-containing soils and how environmental air monitoring requirements and methods differ from those commonly used to demonstrate CAR-compliance.
Steve Clark provided an excellent description the how to quantify asbestos in soil based on the current draft “blue book” method currently under development by the Standing Committee of Analysts and provided personal insight in to strengths and weaknesses of the various stages in the analysis. Jane Tierney followed this with a discussion of the requirements of environmental air monitoring (compared to the CAR-compliance monitoring commonly available in the UK) including the lower LoD/LoQ required and the need for fibre discrimination and the considerations needed to develop an appropriate monitoring strategy. Steve Clark subsequently discussed the pros and cons of polarised light microscopy (PLM), Phase-contrast optical microscopy (PCOM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for the analysis of both soil and air samples. This included a discussion of the LOD/LOQ achievable and the ability of each method to discriminate between asbestos and non-asbestos fibres. This thoroughly informative day was concluded with a chance to visit IOM’s asbestos analysis laboratory and see the various facilities and microscopes discussed in earlier lectures.
The event was attended by over 15 delegates representing local authorities and consultants/analysts from both the asbestos and contaminated land industries. It provided an excellent opportunity to network and sparked many relevant technical discussions. Informal feedback suggested everyone found it informative and worth while in trying to deal with the difficult issue of asbestos-containing soils.
Future events in this series from Ciria include: