Asbestos Analysis

Asbestos describes a number of naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals. Asbestos is an excellent insulator for sound, heat and electricity. The fibers are very durable and therefore asbestos seemed like an ideal building material in the past. However, asbestos is a known carcinogen, which may cause lung cancer (mesothelioma) or other illnesses.

Differentiating materials containing asbestos can be difficult as many asbestos containing materials are indistinguishable from those that don’t contain asbestos. Common building materials such as floor tiles, linoleum, drywall, drywall joint compound, ceiling stipple, and ceiling tiles may contain asbestos. Different manufacturers or different batches of materials may or may not have contained asbestos. Therefore renovations and repairs over time may have removed or added asbestos hazards without altering appearance. Often the only way to differentiate these materials is through laboratory testing.

Bulk Asbestos Analysis by Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM)

Our bulk asbestos analysis follows the NIOSH 9002 and EPA 600/R-93/116(Gravimetric) methods.

PLM is an industry and government accepted method for identification of asbestos in bulk samples. Fibers are extracted and examined by a trained analyst to identify asbestos.

PLM Analysis Turn Around Times:
Regular  5 business days
Priority* 2 business days
Emergency* Within 24 hrs

*Additional charges may apply

Airborne Fiber Analysis by Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM)

Our airborne fiber analysis follows the NIOSH 7400 method for determining the concentration of asbestos and other fibers in air by phase contrast microscopy (PCM). The PCM method is for analysis of asbestos and other fibers and cannot differentiate between asbestos fibers and other fibers such as cellulose and MMVF’s (man-made vitreous fibers). If you require analysis of only asbestos fibers in air then the analysis needs to be performed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) following NIOSH 7402 method. Bio-Chem does not offer TEM analysis however we can subcontract the work to an approved accredited facility on your behalf. The PCM analysis is the industry standard method for analysis of airborne fiber counts during an asbestos abatement procedure and complies with the requirement of Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Code and the Alberta Asbestos Abatement Manual.

PCM Analysis Turn Around Times:
Regular  5 business days
Priority* 2 business days
Emergency* Within 24 hrs

*Additional charges may apply

Our Asbestos Services (by PLM & PCM) are accredited by CALA. We are actively participating in AIHA’s Bulk Asbestos Proficiency Analytical Testing program (BAPAT), and CALA’s Asbestos Proficiency Testing program.

Asbestos Sample Container Requirements

For more information regarding submitting asbestos samples and appropriate container requirements, click here.


Accredited & Proficient

CALA - ISO 17025 Accredited Laboratory

Bio-Chem Consulting Services (1980) Ltd. maintains on-going successful participation in various proficiency analytical testing programs from AIHA and CALA, and maintains ISO 17025 accreditation for these services through CALA.

Our licensing with Health Canada allows us to offer a wide range of OTC/NIFP & DIN product pharmacological testing.


Please refer to our Scope of Accreditation for details.

Accreditation Certificate

CALA Accreditation certificate-HEALTH CANADA Drug testing licence

Health CANADA Cannabis testing licence