Asbestos and Other Fibres

Asbestos in bulk materials and soil can pose a risk to individuals and the environment. It is important to have suspected bulk materials and soil sampled and analysed to determine the presence of asbestos. IOM has one of the UK’s largest teams of experienced asbestos analysts.

We developed and pioneered methods of quantitative analysis for asbestos in soils and other bulk materials such as vermiculite. We provide advice on sampling strategy and interpretation of the results and also undertake site investigations and risk assessments.

Fibre Counting & SEM

We provide optical fibre counting to support routine workplace monitoring in facilities where exposure to MMMF (man-made mineral fibres) is possible and for asbestos in air.


Our scanning electron microscope (SEM) enables us to quantify asbestos in air, water or wipe samples. This is particularly important where many fibres are present but few are likely to be asbestos such as in schools where most fibres originate from clothing.


The SEM is invaluable for samples of ambient or indoor air where the anticipated fibre levels are low. It also enables us to undertake discriminatory fibre counts such as RCF (refractory ceramic fibres) versus MMMF and fibre sizing.

How our experts can help?

  • Advise on sampling strategy and interpretation of results
  • Perform risk assessments and investigations
  • Support routine workplace monitoring in MMMF and asbestos risk facilities
  • Quantify asbestos in air, water or wipe samples
IOM is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No 0374 covering the analysis of asbestos in bulk materials, soils and aggregates and for the quantification of asbestos in soils and aggregates. We also have accreditation for optical fibre counting and analysis of filters and wipes for asbestos by SEM.

Contact: Steve Clark 0131 449 8000 

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