Powertech has expanded the capabilities of its Applied Chemistry laboratories to include a new dedicated lab that has been commissioned for the analysis of asbestos content in bulk material samples. Services include analysis of particles and fibres in paint, soil, building supplies, and other materials.

Asbestos has been commonly used in insulation and binding materials. In electric utility facilities, it is found in coatings, concrete, gaskets, wiring insulation, drywall, flooring, roofing, pipe wraps, and other structures. Exposure to airborne asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma and lung cancer. To ensure the safety of their employees and the public, electric utilities need to evaluate and determine the asbestos content in their facilities.


Capabilities of the Powertech asbestos testing lab include:

Polarized Light Microscopy Bulk Analysis

  • EPA Method 600/R-93/116

  • EPA Point Count

    • 200 Point Count

    • 400 Point Count

    • 1000 Point Count

  • Gravimetric Quantitation

Phase Contrast Microscopy Air Analysis (pending)

  • Airborne Fiber Count (NIOSH 7400)

  • OSHA with TWA

Lab staff have been trained and certified at the McCrone Research Institute. Accreditation to ISO 17025 is pending.

The asbestos analysis lab also works with clients to ensure speedy, high-quality test results, so that projects are not delayed while waiting for asbestos sample analysis.

Information Management

Powertech has also set up an electronic sample information system to be used, in this case, for the BC Hydro T&D asbestos program, where all sample information is transferred directly to a lab information management system (LIMS). These same capabilities can be used to link the information management system to most customer databases. Once the analysis is complete, results can be captured and transferred to client-specific software. This information management process includes chains of custody, all details of sample location and type, and analysis results, and is done using a secure network. Procedures are also in place for proper handling, storage, and disposal of samples.

Applied Chemistry

Powertech’s Applied Chemistry laboratories have more than forty years’ experience in testing, consultation, and applied research in the chemistry of insulating liquids, gases, and solids used in electrical equipment.