Blog - Slip Testing
XRD NATA Accredited Asbestos Analysis – AS 4964 Confirmatory AnalysisPosted 16th February 2021, Carl Strautins
Safe Environments are the first laboratory to be accredited by NATA for asbestos identification using X-ray diffractometry (XRD) confirmatory analysis. Whilst some testing laboratories make inferences using vague somewhat sort of statements of being accredited for serpentine with serpentine being a known asbestos. The question is, why simply are they not NATA accredited specifically for asbestos testing using confirmatory XRD analysis.
This XRD analysis of just serpentine in our view is somewhat disingenuous and lacks some scientific rigour; what this XRD testing misses is the potential for amphibole asbestos which accounts for 5 of the 6 types of asbestos. This brings doubt as to the reliability and validity of their XRD method.
Safe Environments scope of NATA accreditation for XRD asbestos analysis does not just include chrysotile asbestos, but the 5 other amphibole varieties, namely, anthophyllite, actinolite, tremolite, amosite and crocidolite. XRD is a powerful confirmatory tool when used in conjunction with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Polarised Light Microscopy (PLM) .
XRD compliments Safe Environments NATA accreditation to AS 4964 Method for the qualitative identification of asbestos in bulk samples or ISO 22262-1 Air quality — Bulk materials — Part 1: Sampling and qualitative determination of asbestos in commercial bulk materials for difficult materials to test using PLM.
Asbestos in vinyl tiles is one material that XRD provides additional information to reduce false negative test results. The interfering matrix and at times smaller fibres can make unequivocal identification under PLM near impossible, this is where XRD can provide confirmatory analysis fir vinyl tiles.
Safe Environments accreditation by NATA using XRD increases confidence in results, reputation in the scientific community and service to industry, consumers and the community. It must be reminded that the Model Code for Workplace Health and Safety Legislation requires testing to be conducted by the regulator, or approved by the regulator or by a NATA accredited laboratory for the test method.
Asbestos in vinyl tiles is one material that XRD provides additional information to reduce false negative test results. The interfering matrix and at times smaller fibres can make unequivocal identification under PLM near impossible, this is where XRD can provide confirmatory analysis for vinyl tiles.
XRD analysis is part of a panel test of diagnostic analysis providing a unique fingerprint of the fibres atomic structure. Relying not just on one test but using a number of the most advanced techniques providing a weight of evidence approach for complex materials. Not only can XRD be used as confirmation, but our Asbestos Check uses Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Polarised Light Microscopy (PLM) to the international standards ISO 22262-1 for additional elemental analysis where required.
The Malvern Analytical Aeris X-ray diffractometer is the choice of advanced analytical instrumentation used, supplementing our NATA accredited analysis of Respirable Crystalline Silica to the international standards.
A powerful combination that in 2021 no other facility in the southern hemisphere is accredited to via the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) for asbestos identification with all these methods., including XRD. You can be reassured with Asbestos Check testing.