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Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling Finish Removal Including PCM Clearance Testing

EE&G was retained by Tobias and Pearl Brown to conduct background clearance air testing at a residential property in Miami Beach, Florida. The clearance asbestos air monitoring measured the level of airborne asbestos fibers in the property following work or removal of all asbestos-containing materials.


The project involved the removal of approximately 1,105 square feet of popcorn finish on the ceilings. Recently, some water impacted materials were remediated and some minor areas of ACM overspray were found and cleaned. This test will serve as baseline reading before final renovations and reoccupation took place.

Air samples

Air samples were analyzed in accordance with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Method 7400 with results reported as fiber per cubic centimeter of air (f/cc) and compared to the United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clean air standard of 0.010 f/cc of air.

Phase Contrast Microscopy.

Phase-contrast microscopy (PCM) analysis (NIOSH method 7400) is a technique used for determinations of airborne particulate aerosols like dust characterizations, enumeration of airborne asbestos fibers or fungal spores and airborne mold fragments.

PCM analysis

The PCM analysis indicated that the fiber concentration for the five air samples collected in these areas was less than 0.004 f/cc. Therefore, the results obtained by EE&G were below the EPA standards and indicated a “pass” for these areas. EE&G deems this unit safe for construction trades and future occupants to reenter.