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Title PLM Analysis Field Sampling Guide

Field Sampling Guide – PLM analysis

Method for the Determination of Asbestos in Bulk Building Materials EPA/600/R-93/116

Interim Method for the Determination of Asbestos in Bulk Insulation Samples EPA600/M4-82-020

NY State PLM Methods for Identifying and Quantitating Asbestos in Bulk Materials ELAP 198.1

The following field sampling guide is designed for use as a reference for the field consultant. It summarizes procedures and techniques for the sampling of asbestos for analysis using polarized light microscopy as they impact the analytical procedures.

For additional information on field sampling equipment, field health and safety, regulatory requirements for field sampling , sampling strategies and data interpretation, refer to the appropriate documented methodology and/or regulatory agency.



Collection Type

Recommended Volume









Size representative of material of interest. For example:

Floor tiles, roofing material – 3 to 4 in2

Ceiling tiles, loose fill insulation - 1 in3

Mastics, paints – enough to represent the material being tested



Samples should be placed in a ‘zip lock’ bag.

There are a variety of field conditions which can effect the analytical process. These include:

Sample wet Non homogeneity

Layers Soil

Sample amount

NOTE: The laboratory manager will contact the responsible party in the event there is a question on sample integrity. These may include circumstances which may include (but are not limited to):

    • Analysis requested outside laboratory’s scope of accreditation
    • Analysis requested outside laboratory capability (such as lack of equipment or staffing resources).
    • Obviously damaged or compromised samples, i.e. opened packaging, more than one sample in container.
    • Improper labeling
    • Improper packaging
    • Impossible deadlines
    • Obvious faulty sampling technique
    • Incompatible samples packaged together (i.e.- air samples with bulk samples)
    • Inappropriate analytical methodology requested
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