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Measurement of the dusting behaviour by means of continuous fall and determination of the asbestos content by scanning electron microscopy of technical building materials

Asbestos fibres are still an important topic today due to their strong carcinogenic effect, especially in demolition, renovation, and maintenance work. Due to the various matrices and asbestos fibre bonding in different materials, it is assumed that the fibre release potential will vary accordingly. This fibre release potential is investigated in this study. Additionally, the analytical method described in the TRGS 517 is applied regarding the determination of the mass content of asbestos in fine-grained products.

Mortared building materials with different asbestos mass contents are processed using the DusTower. The occupied filter is then processed and analysed using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) according to IFA/BIA 7487. By measuring the asbestos fibres regarding their length and diameter, the mass content on the filter and in the product can subsequently be calculated.

The analysis shows that it is not possible to determine the mass content of asbestos in the product with this method. However, the fibre release potential behaves differently with the materials and some materials release more fibres than others. This depends on both the grain size and the fibre bond. We can draw important conclusions regarding methodology and more importantly, with respect to the fibre release potential of different materials which are being handled on building sites every day.


Jan Petrausch1, Sophie Friedrich2, Martin Hönig2, Stefan Rams3, Lukas Morgenstern3
1FH Münster, Germany;Wessling GmbH, Oststraße 7, 48341 Altenberge; 2Wessling GmbH, Kohlenstraße 51-55, 44795 Bochum; 3Wessling GmbH, Am Umweltpark 1, 44795 Bochum
GeoMinKöln 2022