envirolab update - December 2013

Water absorption test for asbestos


What is it?

Differentiation between asbestos containing material (ACM) that does or doesn’t need a licence to handle (HSE CAR 2006, ACOP L143) is often an opinion whether the ACM is cement or not. A water absorption test takes the guesswork out of it.


What do we report?

  • The % by mass of water absorbed by the ACM under specified conditions.

  • Results >30% mean the ACM needs a licence to handle, <30% mean no licence is required. 


What turnaround is available?

A 2 day turnaround can be requested for a water absorption test.



Frisbee dust measurement and equipment hire


What is it?

Frisbees are used to monitor dust in the air over prolonged periods of time, both by deposition on a sponge filter and as a suspended solids analysis of captured rainwater.


What do we report?

  • The mass of dust collected, in milligrams.

  • The mean dust deposition rate, in milligrams/m2/day.

  • Analysis of the dust, or the collected water, is possible if required.


What turnaround is available?

A 5 day turnaround can be requested for Frisbee dust measurement.



Hazardous Waste assessment (HASWASTE)


What is it?

Envirolab's Contaminated Land Soil Hazardous Waste Assessment Tool,†developed by†Envirolab's Analytical Consultant Dr. Iain Haslock†in line with latest EA Guidance (see Technical Briefing below). Off the shelf waste classification tools can be over-conservative and may lead to increased disposal costs. If you donít have a waste classification tool or donít have the expertise in-house let Envirolab do your soil contaminated land Hazardous Waste Assessments for you.


What do we report?

  • We identify which waste samples are non-hazardous, or hazardous, and why.

  • Recommendations for further laboratory testing can be suggested if the possibility to de-classify potentially hazardous wastes exist. Landfill

  • WAC guidance can also be provided.


What turnaround is available?

A 1 day turnaround can be requested for HASWASTE assessment, following completion of chemical analysis.





VOCs in soil and water


After some great method improvement work by our Organics team we have been able to reduce VOC instrument cycle time (the time between injecting samples into the instrument) by 50%. This means we can run twice as many samples in the same time, giving more reliability with our already impressive turnaround times.



Our Waste Acceptance Criteria training is a 1 hour presentation followed by an hour in the lab. No knowledge of chemistry is needed.

The session includes:

  • An explanation of the key processes and analysis required to satisfy the requirements of WAC.

  • Time in the lab witnessing analysis.

  • An overview of the critical issues within the client's control potentially affecting the robustness of your results.

It is especially useful for clients regularly involved in disposing of waste to landfill or those needing to recommend diposal routes to their clients.



The concentration of dissolved metals in water can change significantly very soon after sampling if the sample isnt filtered into a bottle containing preservative. These charts show the same 5 real groundwater samples analysed for Iron, preserved with nitric acid (HNO3) and with no preservative.

Fe (dissolved) in HNO3 preserved bottles and Fe (dissolved) in unpreserved bottles charts

Even 3 days after sampling the concentration in the unpreserved samples is significantly lower than the preserved samples. Fe concentration in the preserved samples doesn’t significantly change up to 4 weeks after sampling.



Just Reply to this email update to be entered into our prize draw. Good luck.

The winner will be announced and will win a high street voucher for £50 or a donation to their charity of choice.

Our previous winner was Andy McHugh from GIP.



For details about all of our services, including those included in this update, contact us at [email protected] or call us on 0161 368 4921.