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Asbestos An overview of properties, health effects and Nevada Rules
Topics Covered Properties of asbestos Uses of asbestos Health hazards of asbestos Activities resulting in potential asbestos exposure Asbestos regulations
General Overview 1.3 million workers exposed in the U.S. Construction Industry renovation, demolition heaviest exposures General Industry manufacture of asbestos products automotive brake and clutch repair housekeeping, custodial
Properties of Asbestos Naturally occurring fibrous minerals Good tensile strength Flexibility Asbestos ore Heat resistant Electrical resistance Good insulation Chemical resistant Asbestos fibers
Types of Asbestos Most common: Image courtesy of EMSL Analytical, Inc. Westmont, NJ Chrysotile “White Asbestos” Amosite “Brown Asbestos” Crocidolite “Blue Asbestos” Others: (mostly found as contaminants in other materials) Tremolite Chrysotile fibers, high magnification (possible contaminant in vermiculite) Actinolite Anthophyllite
Uses of Asbestos Asbestos has been used for centuries Egyptians; Greeks & Romans wrapping pharaohs; lamp wicks, cloth Middle Ages insulating armor Industrial Revolution insulating boilers, steam pipes, turbines Twentieth century – World War II next 30 years insulating; fireproofing; sound-proofing; decorating; strengthening
Uses of Asbestos Asbestos insulated pipe in utility space Thermal system insulation Surfacing materials Reinforcement of materials Fireproofing Acoustic and decorative plaster Textiles Asbestos “CAB” siding
Uses of Asbestos Friction materials (brakes, clutches, etc.) Asphalt and vinyl felts Papers and adhesives Sprayed-on fireproofing material Flooring and roofing materials Filters, sealants, caulk, and gaskets Vinyl flooring
Some Asbestos-Containing Materials (This list does not include every product/material that may contain asbestos. It is intended as a general guide to show which types of materials may contain asbestos.) Cement Pipes Cement Wallboard Cement Siding Asphalt Floor Tile Vinyl Floor Tile Vinyl Sheet Flooring Flooring Backing Construction Mastics (floor tile, carpet, ceiling tile, etc.) Acoustical Plaster Decorative Plaster Textured Paints/Coatings Ceiling Tiles and Lay-in Panels Spray-Applied Insulation Blown-in Insulation Fireproofing Materials Taping Compounds (thermal) Packing Materials (for wall/floor penetrations) High Temperature Gaskets Laboratory Hoods/Table Tops Laboratory Gloves Fire Blankets Fire Curtains * Source: EPA
Some Asbestos-Containing Materials (Continued) Elevator Equipment Panels Elevator Brake Shoes HVAC Duct Insulation Boiler Insulation Breaching Insulation Ductwork Flexible Fabric Connections Cooling Towers Pipe Insulation (corrugated air-cell, block, etc.) Heating and Electrical Ducts Electrical Panel Partitions Electrical Cloth Electric Wiring Insulation Chalkboards Roofing Shingles Roofing Felt Base Flashing Thermal Paper Products Fire Doors Caulking/Putties Adhesives Wallboard Joint Compounds Vinyl Wall Coverings Spackling Compounds
“ACM” and “PACM” Asbestos Containing Material Any material containing more than 1% asbestos by weight. Presumed Asbestos Containing Material Installed prior to 1981 Surfacing materials Thermal System Insulation Flooring Must be handled as ACM unless proved otherwise Many uses of asbestos have been banned under EPA and Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations. However, some materials where asbestos fibers are generally well bound in the materials were not banned. Previously installed products still pose a hazard to workers. Asbestos fibers can be released during repair work, demolition, and renovation of older buildings and structures containing ACM.
Asbestos is an Inhalation Hazard Airborne asbestos fibers inhaled deep into the lung can cause damage. Breathable fibers are deposited in the alveoli, the ending small air sacs in the lungs. Pleura Body’s defense mechanisms cannot break down the fibers. Fibers cause damage to respiratory system. Fibers may also travel to the pleura, the membrane lining the lungs. Alveoli
Asbestos-related Diseases Asbestos can cause disabling respiratory disease, cancer, and eventually death. Asbestosis Mesothelioma Lung Cancer Other cancers Usually symptoms take 15 to 30 years or more to develop. Health effects from asbestos exposure may continue to progress even after exposure is stopped.
Asbestosis Example Joe Darabant, 1949, covered with chrysotile asbestos fibers. Worked for 30 years at the Johns-Manville Plant in New Jersey, cutting asbestos shingles and making asbestos block and pipecovering materials. Photos RAVANESI@2000 Joe, 1989. Forced to retire in 1974 at age 50 from poor health; he died from asbestosis in 1990 at age 66. Asbestosis is a serious chronic, progressive disease that can eventually lead to disability or death in people exposed to high amounts of asbestos over a long period. Asbestos fibers cause the lung tissues to scar; when the scarring spreads, it becomes harder and harder to breathe. Symptoms include shortness of breath, a dry crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling, coughing, and chest pain. This condition is permanent and there is no effective treatment.
Mesothelioma Example Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer of the pleura, the thin membrane lining the lungs. About 200 cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Virtually all cases are linked with asbestos exposure. The cancer is very invasive and spreads quickly, eventually crushing the lungs so that the patient cannot breathe. It is painful and always fatal. It can be caused by very low exposure and is not directly related to dose. May take 30-40 years to develop. Photo RAVANESI@2000 Tumors protruding through the right rib cage. Richard Pankowski, 1986. Diagnosed in 1985 with pleural mesothelioma; died 5 months later at age 36. In college, he worked for less than a year at the Manville Plant in N.J. Father also worked at the plant 30 years and died from asbestosis. Richard’s exposure may have begun when he was a child.
Lung Cancer Lung cancer causes the largest number of deaths from asbestos exposure. The risk greatly increases in workers who smoke. Risk Multiplier Lung Cancer Risks 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 No Exposure (70 per 100,000 lung cancer deaths in general population) Asbestos Smoking Asbestos Smoking 5x higher risk than general population 10x higher risk 50x to 90x higher risk
Other Cancers Evidence suggests that ingesting asbestos can cause cancers in the: esophagus larynx oral cavity stomach colon kidney Fibers can enter the mouth and be swallowed. Poor hygiene, leaving food/drinks out in contaminated areas, and carelessness can result in the ingestion of asbestos.
Asbestos-related Diseases The potential for asbestos– related disease depends on: Amount of fibers inhaled Length of exposure Whether exposed worker smokes Age Don’t smoke! An asbestos worker is at much greater risk of developing lung cancer if he/she smokes.
How do asbestos fibers get in the air? Physical disturbance of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) suspends fibers in the air. Asbestos is most hazardous when it is “FRIABLE”. Friable: can be easily crumbled or crushed by hand, releasing fibers into the air Very small fibers stay in Photo of friable asbestos the air for long periods Damaged or deteriorated ACM increases friability Non-friable ACM (floor and ceiling tiles, siding, fire doors, etc.) won’t release fibers unless disturbed or damaged in some way.
How do asbestos fibers get in the air? Activities and situations that can result in workers inhaling asbestos fibers: Mechanical action on ACM (cutting, sawing, grinding, sanding, drilling, buffing) Disturbing/breaking ceiling tiles Removing/replacing insulation Disturbing sprayed-on asbestos Damaged/deteriorated ACM Water damage, deterioration Asbestos abatement project Un-surveyed construction projects on older buildings
General Safety and Health Requirements You must implement the following measures to minimize employee exposure to asbestos: Hazard assessment; exposure evaluation Communication of hazards Exposure and medical monitoring, notification Medical surveillance, exposure records Exposure Control Program – written program required if TWA8 and/or STEL is exceeded Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter of air (0.1 f/cc) 8-hour time weighted average (TWA8) 1.0 f/cc 30-minute short-term exposure limit (STEL)
Exposure Control Asbestos exposure must be controlled by one or more of the following engineering and work practices: – Local exhaust ventilation with HEPA filter system – HEPA-filtered vacuums – Enclosure, isolation – Wet methods – Prompt disposal – Housekeeping HEPA vacuum units HEPA filter high efficiency particulate air filter
Exposure Control Worker training – “Asbestos Awareness” – Initially and annually – Work practices, safety procedures – Program elements Worker protection – PPE: respirator, gloves, head and foot protection, coveralls Decontamination shower – Hygiene facilities: decontamination, change room
Communication of Hazards Warning Signs regulated areas visible before entering Warning Labels attached to all products and their containers AVOID BREATHING AIRBORNE ASBESTOS FIBERS Entrance to regulated area
Building/Facility Owner Responsibilities Determine presence, location, and quantity of ACM/PACM. Inform employers, employees, and others who may be impacted. Permit only certified individuals to perform work that may release asbestos fibers into the air. Submit “Notice of Asbestos Abatement Project,” which has to be received by Nevada OSHA enforcement section 10 days prior to engaging in an asbestos abatement project.
Construction/Maintenance Activities The regulations cover any activity releasing or likely to release asbestos fibers into the air: construction renovation remodeling maintenance, repair demolition removal, disposal Covers work done in: buildings structures mechanical piping equipment and systems ships other facilities Asbestos debris from demolition project
Construction/Maintenance Activities Asbestos Training Certification: required when asbestos exposures are above PELs required for removal or encapsulation of any materials containing one percent asbestos and more by volume covers contractors, supervisors, workers (depending on type/size of work) additional training (depending on type/size of work) Asbestos abatement area contained and enclosed
Specific requirements for other work Automotive brake and clutch inspection, disassembly, repair, and assembly operations Roofing, flooring, siding and gaskets Custodial/Light maintenance
Thank you for taking the time to learn about safety and health and how to prevent future injuries and illnesses. For further information refer to: Asbestos Standard -29 CFR 1910.1001 and 29 CFR 1926.1101