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Polarized Light Microscopy, (PLM):

Polarized Light Microscopy is an optical microscopic technique that enables the identification of minerals and materials by determining the various optical properties of the particles being examined. Asbestos minerals can unequivocally be identified through the use of this type of microscopic analysis by a highly trained analyst.
ASL utilises current accepted methodologies as published by the HSE (UK): HSG248 - Asbestos: The analysts' guide for sampling, analysis and clearance procedures.  This guidance is aimed at a technical audience, e.g. asbestos analysts, asbestos consultants, occupational hygienists.
Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM):

Phase Contrast Microscopy is an optical microscopic technique that enhances the contrast of prepared air filter samples to enable the detection and counting of fibers. No differentiation is able to be made between asbestos and non-asbestos fibres.