Table of Contents
ISRN Spectroscopy
Volume 2013, Article ID 362694, 6 pages
Research Article

Identification of Asbestos Using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy: A Viable Alternative to the Conventional Approach?

L-3 TRL Technology, Unit 19 Miller Court, Severn Drive, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 8DN, UK

Received 15 May 2013; Accepted 4 June 2013

Academic Editors: W. A. Badawy, M. Mączka, and S. Rojas

Copyright © 2013 David M. Benton. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy has been performed on isolated samples of six types of asbestos—Chrysotile, Crocidolite, Amosite, Anthophyllite, Actinolite, and Tremolite—with analysis of optical emission in the visible region of the spectrum. The principal elements of Mg, Fe, Si, Na, and Ca have all been identified. By examining peak intensity ratios of these elements it is possible to identify the type of asbestos under examination solely from internal examination of the sample spectra. LIBS offers some significant advantages of speed of analysis and removal of subjectivity with potential for on-site rapid analysis.