Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM)

A method of analyzing air for asbestos. This work takes place during annual inspections as required by an Asbestos Management Plan or during abatement and is completed by trained ERC staff while onsite. Results are available within hours.

The polarized light microscope is designed to observe specimens that are visible primarily due to their optically anisotropic character. Polarized light is a contrast-enhancing technique that improves the quality of the image. This method is used to analyze air samples collected during abatement or annual inspections required by an Asbestos Management Plan. This analysis is completed in the field by highly skilled ERC staff. Asbestos fibers cannot be discerned from other fibers; therefore, this is a rough estimate of asbestos in the air.