Standard Practice for Asbestos Detection Limit Based on Counts
The DL concept addresses potential measurement interpretation errors. It is used to control the likelihood of reporting a positive finding of asbestos when the measured asbestos level cannot clearly be differentiated from the background contamination level. Specifically, a measurement is reported as being “below the DL” if the measured level is not statistically different than the background level.
The DL, along with other measurement characteristics such as bias and precision, is used when selecting a measurement method for a particular application. The DL should be established either at the method development stage or prior to a specific application of the method. The method developer subsequently would advertise the method as having a certain DL. An analyst planning to collect and analyze samples would, if alternative measurement methods were available, want to select a measurement method with a DL that was appropriate for the intended application.5 The most important use of the DL, therefore, takes place at the planning stage of a study, before samples are collected and analyzed.
1.1 This practice presents the procedure for determining the detection limit (DL) for measurements of fibers or structures using microscopy methods.
1.2 This practice applies to samples of air that are analyzed either by phase contrast microscopy (PCM) or transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and samples of dust that are analyzed by TEM.
1.3 The microscopy methods entail counting asbestos structures and reporting the results as structures per cubic centimeter of air (str/cc) or fibers per cubic centimeter of air (f/cc) for air samples and structures per square centimeter of surface area (str/cm2) for dust samples.
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