Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Images -Laboratories and Shops


Laboratory Bench and Transite Products:

Laboratory table tops, bench tops and cove moldings may look alike on the outside; however, this material may be made of transite, stone, plywood or wood press-board. Modern lab benches are often made of chemical resistant plastic. There may be a variety of materials in any laboratory or even on a particular cabinet. Please request a bulk sample analysis or visual inspection before modification, disturbance or demolition of laboratory fixtures and cabinets.

For example, in this UWM laboratory, the sink, lab bench top, and center console top and front panels are stone or pressboard; however, the console vertical column supports and sink drain boards are asbestos transite. Please click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

A campus laboratory

The images below are of a laboratory bench top (transite) with black laminate surface. Please note the visible fibers in the asbestos sample. The small sample on top is from a stone bench top. Transite is a Category II waste. Superficially, the transite and stone bench tops look identical due to the black laminate surface. UWM has both varieties. As with other Category II materials, specialized work practices and disposal requirements exist for ACM laboratory bench tops.

Example of Lab Bench Material Example of Lab Bench Material

Click on the thumbnail on the right for a larger view of various lab bench materials. The sample in the upper left is stone, the sample in the upper right is ACM and the sample at the bottom is wood press-board. The surface of each variety look identical; all were installed in the same building during original construction (1972). The asbestos was usually used for chemical resistant applications such as laboratory fume hood bench tops. The stone was used for other laboratory bench top applications. The press board was usually used for cove moldings and other laboratory furniture applications. small picture of lab bench

Transite Board:

Example of transite board. This variety is similar in appearance to common pegboard, except transite is usually gray and very dense. Many older laboratory fume hoods have transite linings, baffles and gaskets.

The perforated transite board is often used in acoustical applications such as in music rooms, auditoriums and phone booths. Transite is a Category II asbestos waste.

Asbestos transite

Asbestos Clothing:

The top glove is an asbestos thermal mitten (70% chrysotile asbestos). Asbestos clothing of this type may result in unnecessary asbestos exposure through normal use and handling, therefore we do not recommend the use of asbestos protective clothing at UWM.

The bottom glove is a modern, non-asbestos item. Non-asbestos thermal protective clothing is available from the usual laboratory equipment vendors. If you suspect your thermal clothing is ACM, please call Physical Plant Services for identification or disposal options.

Asbestos thermal glove, and non-ACM glove Asbestos-free thermal mitten

When in doubt whether your old thermal protective clothing is asbestos-containing material or not, look for the asbestos-free label. The asbestos and the asbestos-free clothing often look very similar; however, modern clothing should identify the composition of the material.

Miscellaneous Asbestos Containing Material:

Platinum Asbestos by Fischer Platinum asbestos found in a chemistry laboratory.

Laboratory Equipment:

Laboratory ovens, like this muffle furnace, often have asbestos insulation. For example, this small oven has both non-friable transite board and friable ACM insulated electrical wiring (both materials were chrysotile asbestos).
Laboratory Oven
Laboratory oven Laboratory oven

Another example of asbestos in a laboratory oven. The door gasket is ACM, as is the insulation lining the outside of the oven chamber.


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Updated August 15, 2007