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Asbestos Testing Laboratory

Category Press Release
Publish Date 11/11/2016
Author Ed Cahill
Title EMSL Asbestos Laboratory Adds New Capabilities with Fluidized Bed Asbestos Segregator (FBAS)
Introduction EMSL Analytical holds an exclusive license to the patented FBAS technology.

Cinnaminson, NJ, November  11th, 2016  

Most analytical techniques for asbestos in soil quantify asbestos content in terms of percent asbestos in the bulk material. This metric however provides limited information about the health risk associated with the asbestos present. A given percentage of asbestos may represent a small number of large chunks of asbestos in a sample or, conversely it may represent an extremely large number of highly respirable fibers.

The fluidized bed asbestos segregator (FBAS) is an instrument that liberates respirable fibers from soil by air elutriation and then captures those fibers onto a filter for analysis by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Air elutriation is a process that separates particles based on size, shape and density using a carefully controlled stream of air flowing through the sample in the opposite direction of sedimentation. Asbestos fibers that are liberated in the air above the elutriation process are captured onto filters by isokinetic air sampling and subsequently analyzed by TEM analysis.

“As a leader in commercial asbestos testing, EMSL Analytical, Inc. is at the forefront of cutting edge asbestos methodologies,” said Ed Cahill, Vice President of Asbestos at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “EMSL holds an exclusive license to the patented FBAS technology and has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct research and generate further validation data. EMSL is also authoring an ASTM standard method for the process.”

FBAS sample analysis is typically conducted via TEM ISO 10312, with tiered analytical sensitives (AS) available. Results are typically reported in respirable structures per gram (s/g): 

  • FBAS Level A (100,000 s/g) – This level is the most cost effective target sensitivity for general information on asbestos fiber releasability.
  • FBAS Level B (<50,000 s/g) – This level is a typical standard and suggested approach that strikes a balance of increased sensitivity and affordability.
  • FBAS Level C (<25,000 s/g) – This level is chosen when an even lower sensitivity is required for specific risk based scenarios
  • FBAS Level D (<6,300 s/g) – This level is one of our most advanced options with a very low target analysis sensitivity established by the U.S. EPA, which is used in risk assessment on an asbestos superfund site.


To learn more about fluidized bed asbestos segregator testing services, contact Rob DeMalo or Ed Cahill at (800) 220-3675. To view a complete list of EMSL’s laboratory locations, accreditations and capabilities, please visit www.EMSL.com. For more information about EMSL’s testing services, please email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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