Our work

Innovation and detecting asbestos in air, soil and water

TNO heeft jarenlange ervaring met het uitvoeren van asbestanalyses in diverse media, inclusief complexe en/of ongewone matrices. Wij beschikken over state-of-the-art laboratoriumfaciliteiten en (SEM)-microscopen, zodat ook moeilijke analyses uitgevoerd kunnen worden. Ook specifieke meet- en analysemethoden, waarvan er reeds diversen als basis zijn gebruikt voor de huidige NEN- en ISO-normen, worden door TNO ontwikkeld.

Analysis and contra-analysis of samples

TNO can perform analyses and contra-analyses of samples containing asbestos from the atmosphere or other (complex) materials. This may concern a normal determination of the number of asbestos fibres found or, in the case of a contra-analysis, a quality check or second opinion if doubt surrounds the result of an analysis. Independence and integrity form the basis on which TNO undertakes all its analyses and contra-analyses. The analyses comply with the following standards (partly under RvA Test accreditation (L026)):

  • Determination of asbestos and other mineral fibres indoors and outdoors using electron microscopy (SEM/EDX), in compliance with standards ISO 14966, NEN2939 and NEN2991;
  • Determination of asbestos in materials using polarisation microscopy and electron microscopy, in compliance with standards NEN5896 and ISO22262
  • Complex analyses, as in very low concentrations of asbestos in the atmosphere, dust and materials as well as unusual matrices like (dirty) water, oil, sludge, sebaceous matter, waste, scrap, ore, vermiculite and natural stone.

Proficiency testing

TNO provides standardised materials containing asbestos to national asbestos laboratories for “Asbestos in Bulk Materials” proficiency testing. TNO also acts as a reference laboratory for the international proficiency testing of asbestos in materials and asbestos in the atmosphere, organised by the Health and Safety Laboratory in Great Britain. This proficiency testing helps keep the quality of laboratories at a high level.

Protocols and standards

TNO is closely involved in the development of many national (NEN) and international (ISO) standards for the analysis of asbestos in the atmosphere, materials, dust and also in (water)soil and rubble (granulate). For many published NEN standards, like NEN 2990, NEN2991, NEN2939, NEN5707, NEN5897 and NEN 5858, TNO has laid the basis by developing innovative methods of analysis and metrology strategies. TNO is also involved in drafting protocols that describe exposure study procedures (validation measurements, etc.) whereby the focus lies on the preconditions for gathering the metrology data and the subsequent generation of good quality data for the analysis of exposure. A key aspect of this is the establishment of a good metrology strategy that TNO has created on the basis of state-of-the-art work hygiene expertise. For more about our knowledge of exposure assessment & management read.

If you would like to find out more about the analyses TNO can perform for you, please contact us.

Our work

Asbestos innovations and research

When working with asbestos, the release of fibres can present a hazard to both the worker and the environment. Exposure to asbestos fibres in the clean-up of products that contain asbestos must be restricted... Read more
Our work

Exposure assessment and management of asbestos fibres

A key focus for TNO is the establishment and evaluation of exposure studies as well as the development of databases and exposure models. TNO also studies the use and effectiveness of control measures... Read more
Our work

Technological innovations for applications in the asbestos industry

TNO works with different companies and commercial parties on technological innovations within the asbestos industry, including product development, researching areas of application and the ongoing development... Read more

Clean and healthy environment and climate

Models and small sensors that measure and predict exposure to particulate matter, microplastics and noise as well as large-scale satellite observations to identify harmful substances in the atmosphere,... Read more

Environmental modelling, sensing & analysis

Facing complex issues regarding the environment and the circular economy? Environmental Modelling, Sensing & Analysis (EMSA) is the right choice for you. From an independent position and with a multidisciplinary... Read more


Thérèse Maarschalkerweerd BSc

  • Failure analysis
  • Environmental forensics
  • Particle size distribution
  • Particle analysis
  • Fibre analysis


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