Derwentside Environmental Testing Services

Derwentside Environmental Testing Services

Asbestos Services


Derwentside Environmental Testing Services is recognised as a centre of excellence and a leading laboratory for asbestos analysis, and one of the first to receive accreditation for quantification in soils.


DETS holds UKAS accreditation to ISO 17025 for:

  • Identification of asbestos in bulk materials and soils using stereo and Polarised Light Microscopy
  • The Quantification of asbestos in soils, loose aggregates and ballast
  • The ‘Water Absorption Test’ to determine whether an Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) is licensable

Asbestos in Soils

Stage 1 - Identification using PLM.
Stage 2 – Quantification of asbestos in soil.
Stage 3 – Respirable Fibre content of soil.

Quantification involves two different techniques: Gravimetric quantification of ACMs and free fibre evaluation by Phase Contrast Optical Microscopy (PCOM).

The techniques employed to accurately quantify asbestos in a sample may vary depending on the analytical requirements and the nature of the asbestos present. This is shown in the flow chart in this link Flow Chart. If you require further explanation please contact a member of our asbestos team.

The respirable fibre count is the number of fibres per gram of soil that would be classed as respirable if they became airborne, and is therefore a useful addition to risk assessments.

Staff Qualifications

All analysts hold a minimum of the BOHS P401 qualification, plus designated staff qualified to BOHS 402, 403, 404 and S301.

Proficiency Testing Schemes

DETS participates in the proficiency testing scheme AIMS (Asbestos in Materials Scheme) and currently has achieved a perfect score of zero errors in every round since we joined the scheme in 2008.


DETS standard turnaround for asbestos identification is 5 working days, with 24 and 48 hour turnarounds available (surcharge applies), depending upon workloads.

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