We Know Mesothelioma

New way to detect asbestos identified by researchers

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2024 | Asbestos |

Even though asbestos isn’t used in the same ways it was in the past, it’s still in a lot of older buildings. Once it’s discovered, it needs to be remediated so the building can be safely occupied. 

There are instances in which asbestos isn’t always easy to identify. This requires the suspected asbestos to be tested. This can be a time-consuming and costly process because it’s only done at specialized labs by highly trained individuals. A new discovery by researchers will enable a more cost-effective test, that’s comparable to that already-established method.

Comparing the 2 forms of microscopy

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), the costly method, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the new method, both use electron beams to test materials. Those electrons provide information about the shape, composition and structure of the material. In the past SEM didn’t have the imaging power to produce accurate results, but improved technology makes this a viable option for asbestos detection. 

The results aren’t as detailed with SEM, but they were accurate enough to pass an analysis with the NIST Standard Reference Material 1866, which is a sample of asbestos that’s used specifically for testing new equipment and procedures for asbestos detection. This new option in asbestos detection could result in increased remediation while reducing the $3 billion annual expense of asbestos detection and remediation.

Being exposed to asbestos puts individuals at risk of mesothelioma. This fatal disease can take years to show up, but it often progresses quickly after that. Individuals who have mesothelioma often need intensive medical care. They also have the right to seek compensation based on their diagnosis. Working through this process can be challenging, so it may be beneficial for them to work with someone familiar with these claims.