Fiberglass & Chrysotile PCM Sample
Image showing microscopic fiberglass and chrysotile-asbestos fibers and other ambient particles under 400x magnification using Phase-Contrast Microscopy (PCM) optical illumination method. This particular example was collected from worker exposure monitoring, a 30-minute excursion or "Short-Term Exposure Limit" (STEL) air sample during removal of asbestos-containing spray-applied fireproofing insulation material. Demonstrates simple visual comparison of known chrysotile and typical fiberglass particles.
Among other scientific applications, PCM is a fairly common, standard analytical technique utilized for testing air monitoring samples for airborne fiber concentrations pertaining to asbestos-related work, such as projects related to: abatement, repair, clean-up, worker exposure, ambient background, etc. PCM equipment is relatively inexpensive, portable, and sturdy enough that it can be setup directly on many project sites, a particularly convenient advantage.
Also depicted in this image, is a standardized Walton-Beckett graticule with incremental graduated x-y axes measured in micrometer units; diameter is approx. 100-µm across. Encircling the graticule area are measured scale markers in 3:1 length-to-width aspect ratio for visual reference. The green color is from a green-tinted light interference filter.