This study presents a new method for imaging and counting the concentration of asbestos fibers. This approach combines the principle of differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy for imaging fibers with an imaging program to automatically assess their concentration. Asbestos is typically detected by optical microscopy or electron microscopy methods. While optical microscopy techniques (such as phase contrast microscopy and polarized light microscopy) are fast and inexpensive, they cannot ensure a thorough examination due to their low resolutions. In contrast, electron microscopy methods (such as transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy) provide high resolutions images, but are expensive and the related technology is not widely available.
This work thus proposes the DIC method for detecting asbestos fibers, as it can overcome many of the disadvantages of existing methods. It also has good potential for use in portable measuring devices, which can detect asbestos right at the location of possible exposure.