Nottingham, England November 18-20, 2019 Matthew Owen MFAMANZ, MFAAM Identifibre Pty Ltd


  • Full day CES covering risk assessment, and showing various statistical models for estimating likelihood of contracting mesothelioma based on various exposure scenarios

  • 20 presentations on asbestos topics given over two days

  • For the most part, presentations were based heavily on the UK system, with some minor exceptions that looked at a world wide view

Notable Presentations

GarryBurdett – Surface Dust Sampling and the Analysis of Asbestos Content

  • Definition of dust and debris
    • ≤ 1mm = dust
    • >1 mm = debris
  • Activity based sampling (basketball tests) to check for redistribution in air
    • Rates of between 10 -5 and 10-6 – so about 1 fibre in one million will be redistributed
    • Therefore detection of a few fibres in settled dust is unlikely to result in airborne concentrations
  • Sample of dust is not recommended
    • No a reliable indication of airborne asbestos risks
    • Looking at damage and debris is more effective at assessing risk
  • How many bug fragments are in your chocolate?

The block of Lindt chocolate used as an example was manufactured to US food standards and certified to contain no more than 0.000018% (by weight) of insect fragments

  • The 100g block was tested and found to comply with these standards
  • The single chocolate block contained 34 insect fragments

Notable Display

Many exciting asbestos material samples were displayed at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) stand

Conference Food Summary Part 2 Lunch

Lunch was supplied each day of the conference

Examples are from the CES day and day one

Notable Presentations

Yvonne Waterman & Jasper Kosters – Technological advancements

  • Denaturation of asbestos
    • Using waste acid from local manufacturing to destroy asbestos
    • Every fibre is destroyed (amorphisation) leaving silica and gypsum which can be reused in industry
  • Thermal recycling of asbestos
    • At present only suitable for corrugated cement sheet with chrysotile only
    • Burn material in kiln at 700 degrees Celsius
    • Reduce remains to dust in a mill
  • Kinetic / mechanical destruction of asbestos
  • Steel balls in a washing machine to crush ACM down
  • Natural denaturing of asbestos
    • Using certain fungi to denature asbestos 
Using certain fungi to denature asbestos 

    • Only suitable for chrysotile 

    • Long process

Conference Food Summary Part 3 Dinner

Dinner was only supplied one night of the conference

It consisted of welcome drinks and a very standard roast meal with Yorkshire pudding

On the second night of the conference we went out to the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem (the oldest pub in the UK)

It was much better than the conference dinner