Often soil will contain asbestos fibers either as naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) or by contamination from asbestos containing building materials. Verifying the presence of asbestos fibers in these materials may often be necessary prior to alteration, remediation, or removal of such material. Due to the variation in material and source of the asbestos, sampling and analytical approach should be discussed with the laboratory prior to the start of a soil project. Below are a few of the more popular analytical approaches, however it is important to note that it maybe a combination of these items that will yield the best results. While it may seem that the end goal is determination of asbestos percentage in the soil, it is important to note the action levels for asbestos containing materials (ACM) (>1% in US) were intended for building materials. This action level is not necessarily applicable in soil, particularly when asbestos is not trapped in a structured matrix, therefore careful consideration must be performed on the analytical results. Specialized tests like the fluidized bed can test the releasability of fibers found in soils.
Asbestos in Soil Samples