What I want to do
Scan dust & look for potential Asbestos Fibers.
Asbestos fibers are needle-like when viewed close up.
The image below shows what they are like in comparison to other types of mineral fibers.
They tend to be around 0.9µm - 10µm (micrometers) in size.
My attempt and results
This piece of sticky tape is 15cm*5cm.
This is what it looks like when scanned at 600dpi.
Fibers become more visible after applying the inverse color filter.
If you zoom in on the main article image, I have added a little ruler indicating that approximately 1mm = 15px on that image. It was scanned at 150dpi, thus accordingly, 300pid: 1mm = 30px & 600dpi 1mm = 60px.
1mm = 1000 micrometers. 1µm = 0.001mm.
60 px = 1000 micrometers. 1µm = 0.06px.
1µm (small asbestos fibers) - wouldn't render properly at this resolution.
10µm (large asbestos fibers) - could potentially show as 1px (as it is 0.6px- more than half a pixel) at this resolution.
With this kept in mind, anything with a resolution of 1000dpi+ is going to start capturing larger asbestos fibers.
There is already consumer access to flatbed scanners with this kind of resolution (&higher).
Questions and next steps
How can resolution be refined further? How can samples be taken in a way that produces a 'clean' image?
Update: I am working with the idea of having a piece of cardboard act as a window frame.
It isn't perfect, but the idea is:
- Unroll sticky tape & attach part you have touched to the bottom of the frame.
- Unroll carefully, trying not to touch the sticky tape, against the surface you wish to study.
- Carefully rub the back of the sticky tape against the surface.
- Unpeel the sticky tape from the surface and then continue rolling the tape to seal up the other side.
- Label the frame with the location, date & time.
- Scan & analyse.
Here is an example:
Why I'm interested
I want to know if this will be fruitful in serving as a basic indicator of the presence of asbestos fibers in the home.
If there are fibers present that even slightly resemble asbestos, then a concerned citizen could use this as a form of preliminary observation as justification to get further, more detailed testing done by an environmental hygienist.