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Asbestos risk management specialist Lucion Environmental has reported that it has extended its laboratory-based analytical services after securing UKAS accreditation for state of the art scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
The company says it recently completed the £250,000 upgrade to its specialist laboratory facilities for the expert analysis of all types of asbestos containing materials and soil samples.
This investment includes the addition of new scanning electron microscopy, with this latest addition enabling Lucion to undertake powerful laboratory-based imaging tasks on samples, including routine optical fibre counting at 2000 x magnification. In support of SEM, powerful X-ray diffraction also enables detailed identification of fibre type by unique ‘fingerprinting’ analysis of chemical composition.
The company says that Lucion’s extended analytical capability means clients can benefit from higher limits of asbestos detection, providing greater levels of reassurance and choice of remediation management where it is required.
Formal SME accreditation from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for the identification and quantification of asbestos fibres confirms that samples are analysed by fully trained and qualified laboratory professionals who are skilled in the use of SEM microscopy. The approval also extends to laboratory documentation procedures and sample analysis reporting procedures.
Lee Kerridge, Lucion Laboratory Manager, said: “SEM allows us to count smaller fibres and carry out low concentration tests which are not possible using standard methods.
“The Energy dispersive X-ray Analysis (EDX) system is fully integrated with the SEM, allowing us to determine whether or not any fibres found are asbestos or another material – enabling the definite identification of any respirable fibres found in samples.”
Lucion’s new SEM was supplied by Tescan, which it says is one of the leading manufacturers of electron microscopy and ion beam systems. The fully integrated SEM and EDX system was enhanced by the inclusion of tailor-made procedures to ensure speed, reproducibility and accuracy.
Lucion Environmental specialises in asbestos surveying, air testing, laboratory services and consultancy support for sectors that include healthcare and education, rail, the utilities, property, offshore decommissioning and contaminated land projects.
The Environmental division is part of Lucion Services, an international risk management company comprising five core businesses specialising in the identification, measurement, control, remediation and education of risk management.