OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 9 — May. 6, 2013
  • pp: 11356–11367

Real-time detection of airborne asbestos by light scattering from magnetically re-aligned fibers

Christopher Stopford, Paul H. Kaye, Richard S. Greenaway, Edwin Hirst, Zbigniew Ulanowski, and Warren R. Stanley  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 9, pp. 11356-11367 (2013)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1993 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Inadvertent inhalation of asbestos fibers and the subsequent development of incurable cancers is a leading cause of work-related deaths worldwide. Currently, there is no real-time in situ method for detecting airborne asbestos. We describe an optical method that seeks to address this deficiency. It is based on the use of laser light scattering patterns to determine the change in angular alignment of individual airborne fibers under the influence of an applied magnetic field. Detection sensitivity estimates are given for both crocidolite (blue) and chrysotile (white) asbestos. The method has been developed with the aim of providing a low-cost warning device to tradespeople and others at risk from inadvertent exposure to airborne asbestos.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(120.4640) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical instruments
(120.5820) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Scattering measurements
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles

ToC Category:
Remote Sensing

Original Manuscript: February 20, 2013
Revised Manuscript: April 9, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: April 15, 2013
Published: May 2, 2013

Virtual Issues
Vol. 8, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Christopher Stopford, Paul H. Kaye, Richard S. Greenaway, Edwin Hirst, Zbigniew Ulanowski, and Warren R. Stanley, "Real-time detection of airborne asbestos by light scattering from magnetically re-aligned fibers," Opt. Express 21, 11356-11367 (2013)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. Testimony of NIOSH on occupational exposure to asbestos, tremolite, anthrophyllite and actinolite. 29CFR, Parts 1910 and 1926. 9 May, 1990.
  2. World Health Organization, Factsheet Number 343 – July 2010. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs343/en/index.html
  3. P. Lilienfeld, P. B. Elterman, and P. Baron, “Development of a prototype fibrous aerosol monitor,” Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J.40(4), 270–282 (1979). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. A. P. Rood, E. J. Walker, and D. Moore, “Construction of a portable fiber monitor measuring the differential light scattering from aligned fibers,” Aerosol Sci. Technol.17(1), 1–8 (1992). [CrossRef]
  5. E. Kauffer, P. Martin, M. Grzebyk, M. Villa, and J. C. Vigneron, “Comparison of two direct-reading instruments (FM-7400 and Fibrecheck FC-2) with phase contrast optical microscopy to measure the airborne fibre number concentration,” Ann. Occup. Hyg.47(5), 413–426 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. C. F. Bohren and D. R. Huffman, Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles (Wiley,1983), Chap. 8.
  7. E. Hirst and P. H. Kaye, “Experimental and theoretical light scattering profiles from spherical and non-spherical particles,” J. Geophys. Res-Atmos.101(D14), 19231–19235 (1996).
  8. P. H. Kaye, “Spatial light scattering as a means of characterizing and classifying non-spherical particles,” Meas. Sci. Technol.9(2), 141–149 (1998). [CrossRef]
  9. K. B. Aptowicz, R. G. Pinnick, S. C. Hill, Y. L. Pan, and R. K. Chang, “Optical scattering patterns from single urban aerosol particles at Adelphi, Maryland, USA: A classification relating to particle morphologies,” J. Geophys. Res.111(D12), D12212 (2006). [CrossRef]
  10. P. H. Kaye, K. Aptowitz, R. K. Chang, V. Foot, and G. Videen, “Angularly resolved elastic scattering from airborne particles,” in Optics of Biological Particles, A. Hoekstra, V. Maltsev, G. Videen, eds., 31–61 (Springer, 2007).
  11. R. Cotton, S. Osborne, Z. Ulanowski, E. Hirst, P. H. Kaye, and R. S. Greenaway, “The ability of the Small Ice Detector (SID-2) to characterize cloud particle and aerosol morphologies obtained during flights of the FAAM BAe-146 research aircraft,” J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol.27(2), 290–303 (2010). [CrossRef]
  12. E. Hirst, P. H. Kaye, and J. A. Hoskins, “Potential for recognition of airborne asbestos fibres from spatial light scattering profiles,” Ann. Occup. Hyg.35(5), 623–632 (1995).
  13. P. Kaye, E. Hirst, and Z. Wang-Thomas, “Neural-network-based spatial light-scattering instrument for hazardous airborne fiber detection,” Appl. Opt.36(24), 6149–6156 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. V. Timbrell, “Alignment of respirable asbestos fibres by magnetic fields,” Ann. Occup. Hyg.18(4), 299–311 (1975). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. P. Lilienfeld, “Method and apparatus for real time asbestos aerosol monitoring,” US patent 4,940,327. Filed Oct. 25 (1988).
  16. Z. Ulanowski and P. H. Kaye, “Magnetic Anisotropy of Asbestos Fibers,” Appl. Phys. (Berl.)85(8), 4104–4109 (1999).
  17. V. Prodi, T. De Zaiacomo, D. Hochrainer, and K. Spurny, “Fibre collection and measurement with the inertial spectrometer,” J. Aerosol Sci.13(1), 49–58 (1982). [CrossRef]
  18. L. Jianzhong, Z. Weifeng, and Y. Zhaosheng, “Numerical research on the orientation distribution of fibers immersed in laminar and turbulent pipe flows,” J. Aerosol Sci.35(1), 63–82 (2004). [CrossRef]
  19. R. E. Walpole and R. H. Myers, Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists, 5th edition (Macmillan, 1993) Chap.10.

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited