Dec 1, 1974

Identification and quantitation of asbestos in talc

Environmental Health Perspectives
A N Rohl, A M Langer


The currently used analytical methods for identification, characterization and quantitation of asbestos fiber in consumer talcum products include polarized light microscopy, x-ray diffraction analysis, transmission electron microscopy with selected area electron diffraction and electron microprobe techniques. Light microscope methods have severe limitations imposed by the ultimate size resolution of the light-optical system. Small particles go unresolved; those marginally resolved may possess optical properties different from those properties cited in the literature; most optical properties, e.g., indices of refraction, are difficult to measure on small particles. In addition to these difficulties, talc fibers often possess optical properties different from those of talc plates, which further confound analysis. Light microscopy is recommended for use only as a preliminary tool on limited, large-sized, samples. Transmission electron microscopy is a good standard technique for visualization of contaminant asbestos fibers. Together with selected area electron diffraction, talc fibers may be easily differentiated from amphibole asbestos fibers on the basis of both morphological and structural characterization. Chrysotile fibers are...Continue Reading

  • References12
  • Citations7


  • References12
  • Citations7


Mentioned in this Paper

Particle Size
Electron Probe Microanalysis
X-Ray Diffraction
Electron Microscopy
Microscopy, Polarization

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