ABP UK | P: P401
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Identification of Asbestos in Bulk Samples


This module provides theoretical and practical knowledge in the techniques of asbestos sample identification using polarised light microscopy (PLM). The course duration is three days which includes theory, practical work and the exams, and is tutored by Sara Mason and Hannah Pim of ABP Associates Ltd.

Each student has sole use of a HEPA filtered cabinet with stereo microscope, polarised light microscope, tools and a set of RI fluids for the duration of the course and for the exam. Students taking the full course or only the exam are also welcome to bring their own tools and equipment. To pass the practical assessment for this module the delegate will normally need to have some practical experience with polarised light microscopy and/or asbestos identification.

This teaching course has been awarded the BOHS’s “Gold Standard“. Our certificate is displayed proudly in our laboratory.

ABP Associates Ltd is registered with IATP and BOHS.


Topics Covered


  • Asbestos Fibres
  • Set Up and Use of a Polarised Light Microscope
  • Analysis of Bulk Samples
  • Asbestos look-alikes and how to recognise them
  • Quality Control systems
  • Practical Work


To view the full BOHS syllabus, please click here (PDF file; opens in new window).


Prior Knowledge


Candidates on this course are expected to be aware of the contents of HSG 248 Asbestos: The Analyst Guide. Appendix 2 “Asbestos in bulk materials: sampling and identification by polarised light microscopy (PLM)” is often referred to during the course. The Analysts’ Guide can be downloaded for free here. Candidates should have some prior experience of analysing bulk samples and may already be participating in a quality control scheme.

In 2017, 100% of our P401 candidates passed their theory and formative practical exams with ABP Associates Ltd