Evaluation of thermally treated asbestos based on fiber number concentration determined by transmission electron microscopy
Appropriate treatment of asbestos waste is a significant problem. In Japan, inertization of asbestos-containing waste by novel techniques approved by the Ministry of the Environment is now promoted. A quantitative method of testing with high sensitivity to the asbestos levels present in the inertization products is required for the approval process, but many testing methods are only qualitative. Thus, we have developed an evaluation method for asbestos in inertized products, consisting of the extraction of fibers from inertized products and determination of fiber number concentration by transmission electron microscopy. We adopted this testing method to evaluate thermally treated asbestos. It was found that fiber number concentrations of thermally treated asbestos decreased with increased treatment temperature, and were below the environmental level (102 Mf/g) at more than 1000 °C for chrysotile and crocidolite and more than 1400 °C for amosite and other amphibole forms of asbestos.
KeywordsAsbestos Inertization Transmission electron microscopy Fiber number concentration
The authors thank the Ministry of the Environment for financial support through waste treatment research Grants K1804, K1947 and K2054.
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