One of the most frequently asked questions from our clients when receiving their asbestos identification test results is; what does the presence of “Organic Fibre” or “Synthetic Mineral Fibres” mean?
Most of the materials received in our laboratory contain some kind of fibre, and those can be reported as:
Whilst Organic and Synthetic Mineral Fibres are not considered as harmful to your health as asbestos fibres, Synthetic Mineral Fibres are subject to Workplace Exposure Standards. This should be taken into account when working with certain SMF products.
During disposal, removal or refurbishment, the material that has been tested and identified to only contain organic and/or SMF, does not require a specialist removalist contractor. It is necessary that you or your contractor wear appropriate Personal Protection Equipment such as a respirator or face mask, disposable overalls and gloves as the removal process can release harmful dust and fibres into the air.
|Figure 1 Top. Plasterboard with organic fibres and paper coating (8x magnification).|
Figure 1 Bottom. Organic fibres observed under a Polarised Light Microscope (100x magnification).
|Figure 2 Top. Fibreglass used as insulation (8x magnification).|
Figure 2 Bottom. Fibreglass observed under a Polarised Light Microscope (100x magnification).