Since 1972, when the US Occupational Health and Safety Administration established the first limits on occupational exposure to asbestos fibers, numerous analytical methods employing several microscopy techniques have been developed to identify a group of minerals defined by legislation as asbestos. While transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is implemented in standardized analytical methods, these methods specify the use of selected area electron diffraction. Because of this constraint, the diffraction data a TEM can provide are often underutilized due to challenges associated with collecting and interpreting individual diffraction patterns. It has been shown that transmission electron backscatter diffraction (tEBSD) produces diffraction patterns nearly identical to electron backscatter diffraction, but from smaller crystal domains. This paper explores the utility of tEBSD for characterization of asbestiform particles from reference asbestos materials, a suite of amphibole minerals of varying morphologies to determine if there is a correlation between mineral habit (i.e., crystal form), microscopic particle shape preferred orientation, and mineral specimens from an industrial talc deposit to provide a case study of the utility and limitations of the technique.
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