Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Committee Chair

Julie Hart

First Advisor

Terry Spear

Second Advisor

Jeanne Larson


The objective of the study was to evaluate the detection efficiency of micro-vacuum surface sampling and surface wet wipe sampling in homes that had been identified with vermiculite attic insulation and/or other asbestos containing materials. Surface samples were collected pre and post weatherization activities and analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. Baseline sampling revealed that wet wipe sampling was more likely to detect surface asbestos contamination than micro-vacuum sampling; 55% of surface wet wipe samples revealed detectable asbestos compared to 17% of micro-vacuum samples. In addition, 16% of the surface wet wipe samples revealed asbestos concentrations above the established background level of 10,000 s/cm² compared with 3% of micro-vacuum samples. Results of this study suggest that surface wet wipe sampling, in accordance with other sampling methods, is recommended for baseline testing to assess potential living space asbestos contamination.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene.