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Cofrac: Artificial intelligence and asbestos detection

Recently, Cofrac* developed a new accreditation scheme for a unique test method based on artificial intelligence to detect asbestos fibers in the air.

The French company ITGA** is specialising in sample and test activities as part of the search for asbestos and other chemical agents. It has been accredited to the NF EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard since 1996 for asbestos. Gradually, in order to follow new regulations and best support its customers, ITGA applied for their accreditation to be extended to capture activities: industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, legionella and lead.

ITGA is also active in research and development. Within this scope, it developed a new test method delegating the detection of asbestos fibers to artificial intelligence: a service incorporated within the framework of air monitoring, in relation to the Public Health and Labor Codes.

To promote this large-scale project, the laboratory wished to accredit this new method, unique to the field. When it judged that the method was mature enough, ITGA asked Cofrac for an extension of accreditation in order to highlight its competence and expertise in asbestos search, and thus reassure its customers about the reliability of its services.

ITGA’s previous requests for extensions of accreditation were based on existing methods. So, for this first specific development of accreditation, Cofrac supported the laboratory. ITGA followed the different stages of the process, until its notification of accreditation in November 2021.

Artificial intelligence for asbestos detection is an innovation that opens the way to other perspectives that Cofrac stands ready to support!

* The French accreditation committee (Cofrac).
** Accreditation 1-5970, detailed list available on www.cofrac.fr