Blog Archives


By Jeff Mlekush, QuanTem Labs Vice President

It’s the time of year when a young man’s heart turns to…asbestos sampling. You thought I was going somewhere else with this? Nope. Before the summer rush sets in and you’re running six ways from Sunday, I think a reminder is called for. I want to remind everyone of the AHERA sampling protocol and the difference between the AHERA Method and the NIOSH 7402 Method.


First, which way to go – AHERA or NIOSH? Well, why are you sampling?

The AHERA TEM Air clearance monitoring requires thirteen samples to be collected. Five samples should be collected inside the contained area. Five samples should be collected outside the contained area. Two field blanks should be opened for 30 seconds (one inside containment and one outside containment). One unopened lab blank should be submitted.

Even though thirteen samples are required to be collected and submitted to the TEM laboratory, AHERA allows for a “screening” in which only the five inside samples are analyzed – but you have to collect at least 1200 liters of air for each sample. If you collect less than 1200 liters of air, you are required to have all thirteen samples analyzed. (See 40CFR763, Subpart E, Section IV, Mandatory Interpretation of TEM Results To Determine Completion of Response Action, A. Introduction – if you don’t believe me.)

So, I hope this brief discussion helps. If you have any questions regarding TEM air sampling or other asbestos, lead, or mold sampling give me a call. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find the person for you to talk to.