Quality assurance in asbestos fibre counting

In the late 1970s laboratories around the world used different techniques and data gathering methods to measure asbestos and other fibres in the air. With these fibres being so small specialist high powered microscopes were needed to detect them. No single standard was in place between laboratories for microscope specifications or the methods used to assess the fibres.

Appointed as the central reference laboratory for evaluating exposure to synthetic mineral fibres by the World Health Organisation, IOM played a pivotal role in ensuring a harmonised and standardised interlaboratory system was in place to improve the quality and reliability of the data collection.

The appointment of IOM in this essential role has led to the establishment of enhanced global quality control schemes for fibre measurement.

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