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ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS - INSPECT, TEST, REMEDY
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR FILTER EFFICIENCY
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR HANDLER / BLOWER UNITS
AIR LEAK DETECTION TOOLS
AIR LEAK SEALING PROCEDURE
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
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ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
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ANIMAL ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
ANIMAL ODORS IN BUILDINGS
ASBESTOS-FREE INSULATION MATERIALS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
ATTORNEYS and EXPERT WITNESSES
BIBLIOGAPHY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, MOLD, IAQ
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPET DUST IDENTIFICATION
CARPET MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CAT DANDER in BUILDINGS
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
CPSC Indoor Air Pollution Book Online Copy
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
EMF RF FIELD & FREQUENCY DEFINITIONS
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
EMF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS & HUMAN EXPOSURE
Fiberboard Insulation Sheathing Mold
FIBERGLASS DUCT, RIGID CONSTRUCTION
FIBERGLASS INSULATION IDENTIFICATION
FIREPLACES & WOODSTOVES CONTAMINANTS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODS IN BUILDINGS-mold
FLOORING MATERIALS, Age, Types
FORMALDEHYDE GAS HAZARD REDUCTION
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
HOME HEATING SAFETY
HUMIDITY CONTROL & TARGETS INDOORS
HOUSE DUST ANALYSIS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
Insulation Air & Heat Leaks
INSULATION FACT SHEET- DOE
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
INSULATION MOLD RESISTANCE of FOAM
INSULATION, UFFI UREA FORMALDEHYDE FOAM
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
LEED Building Designation & IAQ
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD APPEARANCE - WHAT MOLD LOOKS LIKE
MOLD APPEARANCE - STUFF THAT IS NOT MOLD
MOLD CLEANUP GUIDE- HOW TO GET RID OF MOLD
MOLD or INDOOR AIR EMERGENCY RESPONSE
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MOLD GROWTH on SURFACES, TABLE OF
MOLD GROWTH in/on BUILDING INSULATION
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MOLD TESTING SERVICES
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
MYCOPHOBIA, STAINS MISTAKEN for MOLD
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Museum Artifact Preservation
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OIL TANKS INSPECT LEAK TEST ABANDON REGS
OZONE for MOLD OR ODORS
PARTICLE SIZES & IAQ
Particulates & Allergens Indoors
RADON HAZARD TESTS & MITIGATION
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
SICK HOUSE IAQ QUESTIONNAIRE
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
SOUND CONTROL in BUILDINGS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
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THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS
UFFI UREA FORMALDEHYDE FOAM INSULATION
URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing
VAPOR BARRIERS & AIR SEALING at BAND JOISTS
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VAPOR BARRIERS & HOUSEWRAP
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VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL Siding or PLASTIC Window ODORS
Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
World Trade Center Collapse Dust Photos
Lab procedures for fiberglass dust testing: This document provides forensic laboratory procedural details for the laboratory identification of fiberglass hazards in air or in settled dust samples collected in residential and light-commercial buildings.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Readers should see Fiberglass Detection in Building Air and see Fiberglass Fragment Hazards for basic hazard information. Also see our more general articles FIBERGLASS HAZARDS and also Insulation Products MSDS and Fiberglass Insulation Exposure Limits.
Fiberglass fragments in air, dust, or material samples are easily identified in the forensic laboratory using light and polarized light microscopy and common slide preparation techniques. While glass fibers can be identified using Cargille(R) certified refractive index liquids, it is easier and faster to examine fibers prepared in almost any common slide mounting solution by looking for the following features:
The two lab photographs of fiberglass insulation just above show, from left, the characteristic concoidal fracture at the end of a fiberglass fiber, and resinous material used as a binder in fiberglass insulation. The resin binder in fiberglass insulation can appear in various colors and which gives fiberglass its individual characteristic color.
Determining the source of fiberglass particles found in a building: It may be possible to identify the manufacturer of or at least the source of fiberglass fibers found in a building by comparing the color of resin identified in the microscope with colors observed by visual inspection of fiberglass installed in different building areas.
Identifying fiberglass resins and mineral wool insulation: The left hand lab photo of fiberglass show below provides two examples of resinous binder in fiberglass insulation at a lower magnification of about 300x, with the left, triangular resin particle having been bound to two intersecting glass fibers.
Notice the considerable variation in fiberglass fiber diameter in this photo - the fibers in this photo might be from different sources as not only are they characteristically different by metrics, but their resins are of different color.
Problems in identifying very small fiberglass fragments in air and dust samples: Our own field investigations find that fiberglass particles are quite common in indoor air.
Unless the forensic particle laboratory is making a point of counting small fiberglass fragments in indoor air or dust samples, only a large-particle count may be provided and the presence and potential effects of fiberglass dust may be underestimated.
Furthermore, proper lab procedure and use of mountants with an appropriate refractive index to see glass fragments is critical as otherwise such particles may simply be invisible when viewed using conventional slide preparation methods.
Under polarized light using crossed polars, the glass fibers in these photos will simply disappear from view. (photo not shown - phase contrast microscopy or use of special mounting fluids with an appropriate refractive index may be needed especially to identify small fiberglass fragments.)
Photographs of Unbonded Fiberglass Insulation - "Blowing Wools"
Above (left) we show a macro photograph of white blown-in unbonded InsulSafe® building insulation sold by CertainTeed and provided by a homeowner who asked our lab to study dust samples from her home. At above right is the same insulation shown in the stereo microscope at about 20x, and below the same material is magnified to 720x.
Identifying Contents of House Dust to Screen for Building Insulation
Above (left) we show a 720x micro-photograph of white blown-in unbonded InsulSafe® building insulation sold by CertainTeed. At above right our photo shows the dominant particles in the dust sample from the home under study. Magnified to 720x the fibers we found were primarily cotton, with some linen and a few synthetic fabric fibers. There was virtually none of the insulation fibers provided for comparison (above left) as a possible source of dust in the home.
Above (left) a client photo shows a heavy and rapid dust accumulation on building surfaces. At above right our lab photo shows that the prime contents of the dust were fabric fibers and starch granules, not building insulation in this case. - DF & WW 6/2010.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about lab procedures for the identification of large & small fiberglass fragments in air & dust samples from buildings.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.