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Low Asbestos Content Scheme (LACS)

LACS logo

LACS R10 Samples Will be Despatched

w/c 7th September 2020

Results Deadline Date is

Friday 16th October 2020

Low Asbestos Content Scheme (LACS) assesses the performance of laboratories carrying out the identification and quantification of asbestos at low concentrations. LACS is operated by HSE Testing and Monitoring, which oversees management, registration, and membership matters together with distribution of the samples and processing the participant data.

Analytes in the Scheme

Amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite in various matrices such as solids and powders. The scheme has the advantage that it includes both common and less common forms of asbestos.  The asbestos content will range from 0.01 - 0.1%.

Who Should Participate?

Laboratories who wish to monitor and improve the quality of their asbestos measurements.  This scheme will enable laboratories to demonstrate their competence with respects to regulatory standards.

Operation of the Scheme

The LACS year operates from April to March and test materials are distributed to participants quarterly with distribution dates detailed in the LACS schedule. These are normally in-line with distribution dates for AIMS.

The test materials used in the scheme are all manufactured in the laboratory and do not necessarily reflect typical asbestos containing materials used in buildings. Also, whilst the six regulated asbestos types will be included, it is not anticipated that all six will be used every year and laboratories should not rely on LACS to demonstrate analytical competence in the identification of the six regulated asbestos types.  From time to time more unusual samples and naturally occurring industrial minerals will be included.

Test materials may contain up to three different asbestos types or no asbestos at all.  A range of non-asbestos fibres may also be included. Each sample is individually manufactured by careful weighing and mixing of the asbestos component(s) and matrix material.

A representative sub-set of all test materials is fully validated against detailed criteria before introduction into LACS. The validation laboratories are normally accredited to ISO 17025 for the measurement of asbestos in bulk materials.

There is no recommended method for LACS although the low asbestos content suggests many laboratories will use electron microscopy techniques. However, in order to ensure detection of all asbestos types present, it is strongly recommended that the sample is analysed in its entirety.

Participants obtain a round score for the qualitative assessment (identification of asbestos types present) and a Z-score for the quantitative assessment.

Contact Details

The Proficiency Testing Team
The HSE Science and Research Centre
Harpur Hill
SK17 9JN


Tel: +44 (0) 203 028 3382

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