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March 04 2018

HoldtPatel66

Beta Carotene Molecule

Mesothelioma is a type of most cancers that's nearly all the time caused by previous publicity to asbestos. In this illness, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protecting lining that covers many of the body's internal organs. Its commonest web site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity), however it might additionally happen in the peritoneum (the lining of the belly cavity) or the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the guts).
Asbestos regulation critics embody the asbestos business 174 and proprietor Steven Milloy Critics argue that the outright banning of harmful merchandise by government regulation is inferior to retaining the products while innovating ways to prevent the lethal effects. They argue that the product benefits are too essential to ignore; instead of banning the products, ways should be found to remove risks to those who work with the products.
Australia had the very best per capita use of asbestos and asbestos related products on the planet between Forties and the Nineteen Eighties when its risks turned obvious. It is estimated that about one third of all dwellings constructed earlier than 1982 comprise asbestos supplies. Every trade-large award or EBA (an agreement negotiated in your behalf by unions) will have standards that dictate regular day hours of work you have to be getting paid extra for work carried out exterior these hours.worksafe victoria asbestos removalists
Australia is one of the few nations that impose an absolute ban on asbestos. In most international locations, low quantities or specific forms of asbestos are allowable (for instance, chrysotile can be utilized in sure countries). Goods manufactured outside Australia may be labelled asbestos free” and still comprise a low amount or kind of asbestos. Such items is not going to be permitted for import into Australia, except in very limited circumstances.
There are components that improve the danger of importing asbestos or ACM. Definitive enquiries ought to be made with suppliers outdoors Australia about any use of asbestos on the point of manufacture, previous to importing the products into Australia. Hills, Ben (1989). Blue Murder: Two thousand doomed to die - the surprising truth about Wittenoom's lethal dust. South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Sun Books.

Compared to work-associated injuries, it's tougher to show that a disease was contracted in, or brought on by, particular employment. So most Australian jurisdictions have particular provisions of their staff' compensation laws deeming sure specified occupational illnesses as being brought on by specified work related actions,” stated Safe Work Australia Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Baxter, in a press release.
Depending on how and the place asbestos was utilized, it won't pose any threat to most customers of the building. If the fibers cannot turn into dislodged, they cannot be inhaled, and thus the asbestos poses no risk. However, some methods of making use of asbestos, particularly flocking , enable asbestos fibers to step by step drop off into the air. Asbestos poses hazards to maintenance personnel who need to drill holes in walls for installation of cables or pipes. Even if the workers are protected, such maintenance operation could launch fibers into the air, which can be inhaled by others. Interventions in areas where asbestos is present often should comply with stringent procedures.
Office / Indoor Air Quality – Investigating IAQ Complaints

February 24 2018

HoldtPatel66

Tips Before Buying A House Deadly Asbestos Maybe Present By David Cant

Licensed asbestos removalists must notify Comcare in writing at least five days before starting licensed asbestos removal work (see sub regulation 466(1) ). If you're preparing to remove any ceiling tiles or other materials from your own home these materials ought to be presumed to contain asbestos. Further investigations are required to confirm the differing carcinogenicity of the various types of asbestos and related fibers. EPA has generated a list of Victorian landfills licensed to receive asbestos to assist in identifying the closest disposal option. The Wrongs Act of 1958 granted full compensation for loss of income to anyone who was sickened due to exposure to asbestos on the job, but the law did not give the same rights to those individuals who were exposed to asbestos in non-occupational settings.

Asbestos is made of minerals with long thin fibrous crystals and it is flexible, strong and highly durable. A copy of this licence will need to be provided when notifying of an asbestos removal and any other requested documentation. Employees of companies that used asbestos can rely on work histories and job descriptions to document asbestos exposure, but many companies manufactured asbestos products for retail and wholesale markets. This makes it very difficult for many people to link the disease to asbestos exposure.

Where applicants intend to remove asbestos-backed vinyl floor coverings and other friable asbestos products they must hold a Class A asbestos removal licence. The best thing that doctors can do for this type of cancer is provide treatment that is appropriate for the stage you are in, create a huge scope of attack and hope for the best. The Main purpose, during then, was Insulation; Asbestos fibers were also used in automobile brake pads and shoes.

Asbestos must be wet to avoid the creation of dust and must be wrapped in heavy-duty plastic or other NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), WorkCover or National Australia Testing Authority (NATA) approved wrapping system, such as Hazi Bags. Attention has to be taken not to confuse it with asbestos insulation board which is similar in appearance, but much more dangerous since it is softer. In the United States, there are only about 3000 new cases of this disease annually.asbestos cancer

Beginning in England in the 1930s, steps were taken to protect workers in the asbestos industry by installing ventilation and exhaust systems. The volume of the asbestos liability has concerned manufacturers and insurers and reinsurers 171 The amounts and method of allocating compensation have been the source of many court cases, and government attempts at resolution of existing and future cases.

As per the Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2011, an independent competent person is needed to undertake a clearance inspection and issue a clearance certificate following any Class 'B' asbestos removal jobs. At present the asbestos diseases compensation legislation in Western Australia is unfair and is detrimentally affecting asbestos diseases victims and their families. The major health problem caused by asbestos exposure, aside from cancer, is a lung disease called asbestosis. The effects of asbestos exposure do not appear for several decades, so many years past before the connection between asbestos and the development of cancer was truly understood.
Asbestos Exposure & Risk of Developing Asbestos Related Disease
HoldtPatel66

Office / Indoor Air Quality – Investigating IAQ Complaints

The air quality of the indoor environment such as a non-industrial office environment can significantly affect the health, comfort, and productivity of building occupants.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) in the workplace, such an office environment, is the subject of much attention recently, and for good reason. Although serious irreversible health problems related to IAQ in non-industrial office environments are rare, the perception of endangered health is increasingly common among building occupants.
To date, the causes and consequences of poor IAQ are complex and not completely understood, but there are some basic factors that in many cases address IAQ concerns.
IAQ is a problem when the air contains dust and objectionable odours, chemical contaminants, dampness, mould or bacteria.
Poor indoor air quality can lead to a number of physical symptoms and complaints. The most common of these include:
Thermal discomfort: too hot or too cold
Headaches
Fatigue
Shortness of breath (eg. insufficient oxygen related to high carbon dioxide levels)
Sinus congestion
Coughs
Sneezing
Eye, nose, and throat irritation
Skin irritation
Dizziness
Nausea
Skin irritation
These physical symptoms and complaints are often attributed to indoor air quality, however, it is important to note that indoor air quality is not always the cause. Other factors in the indoor environment such as noise, overcrowding, improper lighting, poor ergonomic conditions, and job stress can also lead to these symptoms and complaints. In many situations, a combination of factors is to blame.
An increased likelihood of complaints is usually associated with factors such as the installation of new furnishings, uncontrolled renovation activities, poor air circulation and air flow, persistent moisture and ongoing low relative humidity. Complaints may also increase when there is a stressful work environment, such as impending layoffs, a great deal of overtime, or an ongoing conflict among staff members and management.
A number of factors can affect the indoor air quality of a building or facility, including:
The physical layout of the building
The building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system
The outdoor climate
The people who occupy the building
Contaminants emitted inside and entered from outside the building
Poor indoor air quality and indoor air contaminants affect some people more seriously, including:
People with allergies or asthma
People with respiratory disease
People whose immune system is suppressed as a result of disease or treatment
Safety & Environmental Services Australia
People who wear contact lenses
Indoor air contaminants can originate within a building or be drawn in from outdoors. These contaminants can lead to indoor air quality problems, even if the HVAC system is well designed, regularly maintained, and functioning to its optimum conditions.
Sources of contaminants inside the building environment may include:
Dust, dirt, or mould in the HVAC system (eg. cooling coils, ducts, registers)
Office equipment such as laser printers and copiers (eg. airborne particulates, ozone)
Personal activities such as smoking or cooking (eg. Volatile organic compounds, nicotine)
Housekeeping activities such as cleaning and dusting
Maintenance activities such as painting (eg. Volatile organic compounds)
Spills of water or other liquids
Special use areas such as print shops and laboratories
Industrial processes such as dry cleaning
Moisture affected building materials (eg. mould and bacteria)
Sources of contaminants from outside the building may include:
Vehicle exhaust
Pollen and dust (eg. long term build up if cleaning regime is inadequate)
Smoke
Unsanitary debris or dumpsters near the outdoor air intake
Depending on the complaint reported by building occupants, an indoor air quality investigation should include the following:
Interview with building occupants to identify potential causes such as identifiable odours, recent changes that may have caused the issue, water intrusion event, increased occupancy, cleaning regime, etc.
Assessment of the ventilation rate (generally when the indoor carbon dioxide levels are over 650 parts per million (ppm) above ambient outdoor levels)
Walkthrough inspection of the building and the ventilation system (filters, cooling coils, condensation trays, air ducts, etc.)
Sampling for airborne contaminants suspected to be present in concentrations associated with the reported complaints.
Documenting the complaint, the investigation, and any actions taken.
Occupant concerns regarding indoor air quality should be taken seriously and responded to as soon as possible. Initial information should be collected, checked and verified, preferably through interviews with occupants and a visual inspection:
Details about the specific complaint
Location(s) of the building where similar concerns about IAQ have been reported
Time of occurrence of the IAQ problem
When and where did it start and what has changed in the building just before the problem was first experienced
People affected and extent of the affected area(s)
Specific details on the health effects or discomfort occupants are experiencing
If the health effects stop soon after leaving the building, or over the weekend
If the symptoms have been diagnosed by a medical practitioner
If there are any identifiable practices inside or outside the building occurring at a time coinciding with the reported issues
If the air conditioning contractor or the building engineer evaluated the HVAC system or other conditions and the conclusions reached
Once the information above is gathered and analysed the walkthrough inspection by a specialist indoor air quality consultant should be undertaken to identify potential sources of contamination or unusual conditions. Generally, at this stage the IAQ consultant should be able to narrow the possibilities and developing air sampling strategy if required to confirm potential causes of the IAQ problem and decide on suitable solutions or if further investigation is required.
Generally, most IAQ issues can be resolved by addressing maintenance issues of the HVAC system (eg. air exchange rates, improved ventilation and air flow, filter change and disinfection of the internal surfaces of the air handling unit and the air ducts), HEPA vacuuming of the entire space, building repairs, addressing moisture issues, removing potential sources of contamination, implementing a new cleaning regime).
Under the Work Health & Safety Legislation, it is the duty of the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to provide a work environment that is free from risks to health and safety.
If you require assistance regarding the indoor air quality at your workplace please contact SESA on 02 8786 1808
First posted here https://www.sesa.com.au/14-indoor-air-quality/office-indoor-air-quality-investigating-iaq-complaints.html

February 16 2018

HoldtPatel66

Asbestos Exposure & Risk of Developing Asbestos Related Disease

Asbestos is a naturally occurring rock forming mineral silicate in fibrous form belonging to the serpentine and amphibole groups. It occurs naturally in large deposits on every continent in the world. There are six types of naturally occurring asbestos fibres of which only three have been used commercially in Australia. These included the serpentine: Chrysotile (white asbestos); and the amphiboles: Crocidolite (blue asbestos) and Amosite (brown or grey asbestos). The other three non-commercially used amphiboles included Tremolite, Actinolite and Anthophyllite.
Asbestos has been used in the ancient world of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It is believed that as early as 4000 BC, asbestos fibres were used for wicks in lamps and candles. Between 2000-3000 BC, embalmed bodies of Egyptian pharaohs were wrapped in asbestos cloth. The Greeks and Romans documented the harmful effects of asbestos fibres on those who mined the silken material from ancient stone quarries noting a “sickness of the lungs” in slaves who wove asbestos into cloth.
The commercial use of asbestos commenced in the late 1800s in Australia in four main industries including Mining and Milling; Building & Construction (for strengthening cement and plastics, for insulation, fireproofing and sound absorption); Ship Building (eg. insulation of boilers and steampipes) and the Automotive Industry (eg. vehicle brake shoes, gaskets and clutch pads).
There were over 3000 products (Asbestos Containing Materials or ACM) manufactured with asbestos fibres. The ACM fall into two broad categories: friable and non-friable (or bonded).
‘Friable’ is ACM that can be easily reduced to powder when crushed by hand, when dry. These materials can contain higher percentages of asbestos fibres and are easily or more likely to release airborne fibres into the environment with minimal disturbance. As such, they pose a greater risk to health. Friable materials must only be handled and removed by an asbestos removalist with Class A Asbestos Removal Licence. Examples of friable asbestos-containing materials include sprayed on fire retardants, insulation (eg. millboard, pipe insulation), sound proofing, the lining on some old domestic heaters, stoves and hot water systems and associated pipe lagging, the backing of sheet vinyl and linoleum floor coverings, thermal lagging, some vermiculite.
‘Non-friable’, or bonded ACM is used to refer to ACM in which the asbestos is firmly bound in the matrix of the material. These materials are unlikely to release measurable levels of airborne asbestos fibre into the environment if they are undisturbed. Therefore, they generally pose a lower risk to health. However, activities that may abrade the ACM such as drilling, grinding have the potential to release higher concentrations of airborne asbestos fibres into the environment. The non-friable ACM are mainly made up of asbestos fibres together with a bonding compound (such as cement), and typically contain up to 15 per cent asbestos. Non-friable ACM are solid, quite rigid and the asbestos fibres are tightly bound in the material. Non-friable ACM are the most common in domestic houses. They are commonly called ‘fibro’, ‘asbestos cement’ and ‘AC sheeting’. Examples of non-friable ACM include asbestos cement products (flat, profiled and corrugated sheeting used in walls, ceilings and roofs, moulded items such as downpipes) and vinyl floor tiles.
While asbestos is a hazardous material it can only pose a risk to health if the asbestos fibres become airborne in respirable size, are inhaled and lodge deep into the lungs (in the alveoli). Inhalation is the main route of entry to the body. Respirable fibres are fibres that are more likely to reach the small airways and alveolar region of the lung and are defined as having a length of more than five microns, and an aspect ratio (length/width) greater than 3:1.
Asbestos is classified according to the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) as Carcinogenicity Category 1A (May cause cancer).
There are several asbestos related diseases that may result from the exposure to asbestos which depends on factors such as fibre type; size and shape of fibres; concentration of asbestos fibres in the inhaled air and period of time over which the person was exposed. The asbestos related diseases include:
Asbestosis
Pleural plaques
Malignant mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum
Occupational hygienist
Lung cancer
Benign asbestos pleural effusion
Progressive pleural fibrosis (diffuse pleural thickening)
Transpulmonary bands (crow’s feet)
Rounded atelectasis
All asbestos related diseases have a latency period that is the period commencing from the time of the exposure to the asbestos fibres first occurred until symptoms of a disease show. This may range from 10 – 50 years for the asbestos related diseases.
Workplace exposures to asbestos fibres first occurred while mining asbestos, manufacturing asbestos containing products or using those products during the construction of buildings. Currently, the main source of exposure to asbestos fibres is during the maintenance, renovation or demolition of old buildings with asbestos containing materials.
Asbestos containing materials are subject to environmental weathering which causes them to breakdown and release asbestos fibres. Low levels of airborne asbestos fibres are encountered in the environment from the breakdown of asbestos products. Environmental weathering of asbestos cement sheets in roofing and wall cladding, disturbance of asbestos from a variety of building materials like insulation and asbestos release to air from clutches and brakes in cars and trucks results in asbestos fibres being dispersed in the environment.
According to Australian Government Department of Health website, we are all exposed to low levels of asbestos in the air we breathe every day. Ambient or background air usually contains between 10 and 200 asbestos fibres in every 1000 litres (or cubic metre) of air (equivalent to 0.01 to 0.20 fibres per litre of air). However, most people do not become ill from this exposure, because the levels of asbestos present in the environment are very low. Most people are also exposed to higher levels of asbestos at some time in their lives; for example, in their workplace, community or home. However, for most people, this kind of infrequent exposure is also unlikely to result in any ill effects.
Safe Work Australia states that “the typical environmental background in outdoor air is 0.0005 fibres/ml and 0.0002 fibres/ml in indoor air. The daily inhalation volume for an average adult is 22 m3 or 22000 litres. This means 5500 fibres are breathed/day by the average person (proportion of time spent indoors = 20 hours/day). Despite this the general population does not contract asbestos related disease in significant numbers. The background rate of mesothelioma is less than one per million per year. By comparison, the annual death rate for a 40 year old male in 2008 was 1.6 per thousand or 1600 per million. However, there is no absolutely safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres.
Most people who develop asbestos related diseases were workers who have worked on jobs where they frequently breathed in large amounts of asbestos fibres. As an example, construction workers using unsafe practices in the past may have frequently encountered asbestos fibre levels significantly higher than those levels found in the background. The current workplace exposure standard (time weighted average (TWA) over an eight-hour period) is 0.1 fibres/millilitre of air (100 fibres per litre which is between 500 and 10,000 times the background levels). In the past, workers in asbestos milling or mining often encountered fibre concentrations a million times higher than background levels. In 2011, 606 deaths were caused by mesothelioma and 125 deaths were caused by asbestosis in Australia.
Family members of exposed workers or those who lived close to active asbestos mines in the past are also at risk. A worker exposed to asbestos fibres or a home renovator can carry asbestos fibres on their clothing, boots, skin, hair and tools. Everyone should be alert to ensure they do not become exposed to these fibres.
A very small number of asbestos-related disease cases occur each year in people who have not worked with asbestos products. The low number of cases makes it difficult to determine the exact cause of the disease or the likely exposure event, but unsafe handling of asbestos materials in the home may have contributed to some of these cases.
The uncontrolled disturbance of asbestos containing materials must be avoided at any time to prevent the release of airborne asbestos and increase the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres. The exposure to airborne asbestos fibres should be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable by managing asbestos containing materials in-situ and adopting safe work practices as required by the Work Health & Safety Regulations and Safe Work Australia Codes of Practice “How to Manage & Control Asbestos In the Workplace”: and “ How to Safely Remove Asbestos”.
If you require assistance in asbestos inspection, asbestos testing or asbestos assessment contact SESA on 02 8786 1808.
First posted here https://www.sesa.com.au/15-asbestos/asbestos-exposure-risk-of-developing-asbestos-related-disease.html

January 23 2018

HoldtPatel66

911 Aftershock

Following on from WorkCover NSW issuing a prohibition order on building panels containing asbestos imported from China, WorkSafe Victoria has launched a SAFETY ALERT concerning asbestos in imported building panels.
Examples of asbestos-containing materials might be found in Appendix A of the Code of apply for the administration and management of asbestos in workplaces, on the Safe Work Australia website. Pleural thickening is a type of pleural fibrosis that usually extends over the world of a complete lobe or lung and causes a major restrictive impairment of lung operate.
Australia had the best per capita use of asbestos and asbestos related merchandise on the earth between 1940s and the Nineteen Eighties when its dangers became apparent. It is estimated that about one third of all dwellings constructed before 1982 include asbestos materials. Every trade-broad award or EBA (an agreement negotiated in your behalf by unions) will have requirements that dictate regular day hours of labor you have to be getting paid extra for work performed outside these hours.worksafe victoria asbestos removalists
The findings had been withheld by the schooling department for months, solely to be released after the caretaker period previously started three weeks ago. But with Asbestos Awareness Week beginning on Monday, lecturers and principals have called on both main parties to take away all school buildings. If you are a strata owner, join our exclusive strata mailing checklist to maintain knowledgeable on all related strata info.
The bodily properties that give asbestos its resistance to warmth and decay are linked with a number of adversarial human results. Asbestos tends to interrupt into a mud of microscopic fibers. Because of their size and shape, these tiny fibers can stay suspended within the air for long periods of time and can simply penetrate bodily tissue when inhaled. Because of their durability, these fibers can stay within the body for many years.

At the time of reserving, the Gatekeeper will enter the small print into the Awaba Waste Management Facility asbestos booking diary and will advise you (the customer) of the EPA's WasteLocate program. Information on WasteLocate can be discovered on the EPA's website. Mesothelioma may occur in a number of places over the pleura. It kinds growths formed like small pieces of cauliflower. They grow and spread progressively to surrounding areas.
The disposal of asbestos waste is managed by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Further information is out there within the EPA publication Asbestos Transport and Disposal, which describes the secure dealing with, transport and disposal of asbestos-containing waste. Immediate means there have to be no delay between the duty holder turning into conscious of the emergency and the necessity for a structure or plant that contain asbestos to be demolished, and the submission of a notification to Comcare.
Office / Indoor Air Quality – Investigating IAQ Complaints

January 22 2018

HoldtPatel66

Asbestos In The Home

Four new electrical tram substations have been built in Melbourne with asbestos flooring imported from China. Yet though these factors might explain the relative neglect of asbestos, they do nothing to justify it. Asbestos should get the attention that its devastating health costs warrant. You cannot simply have a look at ceiling tiles and determine whether they contain toxic asbestos. Diffuse pleural thickening: similar to above and can sometimes be associated with asbestosis.

The ban does not apply to asbestos installed prior to this date (e.g. asbestos in houses). As the home testing was undertaken with a promise to home owners to keep their details confidential, a de-identified summary of the findings was provided and explained. This type of cancer is relatively rare, involving the skin, an organization that line body. Zero ASBESTOS have 2 offices in South East QLD (Brisbane & Sunshine Coast) - we service all of SEQ and beyond, regularly completing asbestos works from the Gold Coast through to Bundaberg.asbestos testing

One of the most fatal toxicities of asbestos is its effect on breathing and the pathogenesis of lung cancer. People who work in insulation jobs, asbestos factories and mining, the heating trades, shipbuilding, brake repair, and construction are all at high risk for asbestos exposure. When the asbestos fibers settle in the mesothelium lining, the mesothelium cells start showing abnormal behavior, thereby leading to mesothelioma. If your building (house) was built before 1985, it may contain asbestos as a construction material.

Crayons containing asbestos are considered to be of unacceptable quality, consumers may exercise their consumer rights under the Australian Consumer Law and return crayons identified as containing asbestos to their supplier and obtain a refund or exchange for product without asbestos. This leads to terrible diseases like lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, asbestos warts, pleural plaques and diffuse pleural thickening. If you are concerned about any asbestos in your home you should contact a licensed asbestos removalist who can assist you.

Another interesting study is called, Asbestos bodies in a general hospital/clinic population by Modin, B.E. ; Greenberg, S.D. ; Buffler, P.A. ; Lockhart, J.A. ; Seitzman, L.H. ; Awe, R.J. - Acta Cytol.; (United States); Journal Volume: 26:6. However, the link between these cancers and asbestos is not as clear as it is for the other cancers discussed here.

Asbestos Removals Australia understands the pressures that come from taking on a renovation project. To be independent, the licensed asbestos assessor or competent person must not be involved in the removal of asbestos for that specific job and is not involved in a business or undertaking involved in the removal of the asbestos for that specific job. In most cases, glass fibres have replaced asbestos in today's insulation products. Importers can also import samples of goods to Australia for testing prior to shipping.
Office / Indoor Air Quality – Investigating IAQ Complaints

January 14 2018

HoldtPatel66

Asbestos Exposure & Risk of Developing Asbestos Related Disease

Asbestos is a naturally occurring rock forming mineral silicate in fibrous form belonging to the serpentine and amphibole groups. It occurs naturally in large deposits on every continent in the world. There are six types of naturally occurring asbestos fibres of which only three have been used commercially in Australia. These included the serpentine: Chrysotile (white asbestos); and the amphiboles: Crocidolite (blue asbestos) and Amosite (brown or grey asbestos). The other three non-commercially used amphiboles included Tremolite, Actinolite and Anthophyllite.
Asbestos has been used in the ancient world of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It is believed that as early as 4000 BC, asbestos fibres were used for wicks in lamps and candles. Between 2000-3000 BC, embalmed bodies of Egyptian pharaohs were wrapped in asbestos cloth. The Greeks and Romans documented the harmful effects of asbestos fibres on those who mined the silken material from ancient stone quarries noting a “sickness of the lungs” in slaves who wove asbestos into cloth.
The commercial use of asbestos commenced in the late 1800s in Australia in four main industries including Mining and Milling; Building & Construction (for strengthening cement and plastics, for insulation, fireproofing and sound absorption); Ship Building (eg. insulation of boilers and steampipes) and the Automotive Industry (eg. vehicle brake shoes, gaskets and clutch pads).
There were over 3000 products (Asbestos Containing Materials or ACM) manufactured with asbestos fibres. The ACM fall into two broad categories: friable and non-friable (or bonded).
SESA
‘Friable’ is ACM that can be easily reduced to powder when crushed by hand, when dry. These materials can contain higher percentages of asbestos fibres and are easily or more likely to release airborne fibres into the environment with minimal disturbance. As such, they pose a greater risk to health. Friable materials must only be handled and removed by an asbestos removalist with Class A Asbestos Removal Licence. Examples of friable asbestos-containing materials include sprayed on fire retardants, insulation (eg. millboard, pipe insulation), sound proofing, the lining on some old domestic heaters, stoves and hot water systems and associated pipe lagging, the backing of sheet vinyl and linoleum floor coverings, thermal lagging, some vermiculite.
‘Non-friable’, or bonded ACM is used to refer to ACM in which the asbestos is firmly bound in the matrix of the material. These materials are unlikely to release measurable levels of airborne asbestos fibre into the environment if they are undisturbed. Therefore, they generally pose a lower risk to health. However, activities that may abrade the ACM such as drilling, grinding have the potential to release higher concentrations of airborne asbestos fibres into the environment. The non-friable ACM are mainly made up of asbestos fibres together with a bonding compound (such as cement), and typically contain up to 15 per cent asbestos. Non-friable ACM are solid, quite rigid and the asbestos fibres are tightly bound in the material. Non-friable ACM are the most common in domestic houses. They are commonly called ‘fibro’, ‘asbestos cement’ and ‘AC sheeting’. Examples of non-friable ACM include asbestos cement products (flat, profiled and corrugated sheeting used in walls, ceilings and roofs, moulded items such as downpipes) and vinyl floor tiles.
While asbestos is a hazardous material it can only pose a risk to health if the asbestos fibres become airborne in respirable size, are inhaled and lodge deep into the lungs (in the alveoli). Inhalation is the main route of entry to the body. Respirable fibres are fibres that are more likely to reach the small airways and alveolar region of the lung and are defined as having a length of more than five microns, and an aspect ratio (length/width) greater than 3:1.
Asbestos is classified according to the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) as Carcinogenicity Category 1A (May cause cancer).
There are several asbestos related diseases that may result from the exposure to asbestos which depends on factors such as fibre type; size and shape of fibres; concentration of asbestos fibres in the inhaled air and period of time over which the person was exposed. The asbestos related diseases include:
Asbestosis
Pleural plaques
Malignant mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum
Lung cancer
Benign asbestos pleural effusion
Progressive pleural fibrosis (diffuse pleural thickening)
Transpulmonary bands (crow’s feet)
Rounded atelectasis
All asbestos related diseases have a latency period that is the period commencing from the time of the exposure to the asbestos fibres first occurred until symptoms of a disease show. This may range from 10 – 50 years for the asbestos related diseases.
Workplace exposures to asbestos fibres first occurred while mining asbestos, manufacturing asbestos containing products or using those products during the construction of buildings. Currently, the main source of exposure to asbestos fibres is during the maintenance, renovation or demolition of old buildings with asbestos containing materials.
Asbestos containing materials are subject to environmental weathering which causes them to breakdown and release asbestos fibres. Low levels of airborne asbestos fibres are encountered in the environment from the breakdown of asbestos products. Environmental weathering of asbestos cement sheets in roofing and wall cladding, disturbance of asbestos from a variety of building materials like insulation and asbestos release to air from clutches and brakes in cars and trucks results in asbestos fibres being dispersed in the environment.
According to Australian Government Department of Health website, we are all exposed to low levels of asbestos in the air we breathe every day. Ambient or background air usually contains between 10 and 200 asbestos fibres in every 1000 litres (or cubic metre) of air (equivalent to 0.01 to 0.20 fibres per litre of air). However, most people do not become ill from this exposure, because the levels of asbestos present in the environment are very low. Most people are also exposed to higher levels of asbestos at some time in their lives; for example, in their workplace, community or home. However, for most people, this kind of infrequent exposure is also unlikely to result in any ill effects.
Safe Work Australia states that “the typical environmental background in outdoor air is 0.0005 fibres/ml and 0.0002 fibres/ml in indoor air. The daily inhalation volume for an average adult is 22 m3 or 22000 litres. This means 5500 fibres are breathed/day by the average person (proportion of time spent indoors = 20 hours/day). Despite this the general population does not contract asbestos related disease in significant numbers. The background rate of mesothelioma is less than one per million per year. By comparison, the annual death rate for a 40 year old male in 2008 was 1.6 per thousand or 1600 per million. However, there is no absolutely safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres.
Most people who develop asbestos related diseases were workers who have worked on jobs where they frequently breathed in large amounts of asbestos fibres. As an example, construction workers using unsafe practices in the past may have frequently encountered asbestos fibre levels significantly higher than those levels found in the background. The current workplace exposure standard (time weighted average (TWA) over an eight-hour period) is 0.1 fibres/millilitre of air (100 fibres per litre which is between 500 and 10,000 times the background levels). In the past, workers in asbestos milling or mining often encountered fibre concentrations a million times higher than background levels. In 2011, 606 deaths were caused by mesothelioma and 125 deaths were caused by asbestosis in Australia.
Family members of exposed workers or those who lived close to active asbestos mines in the past are also at risk. A worker exposed to asbestos fibres or a home renovator can carry asbestos fibres on their clothing, boots, skin, hair and tools. Everyone should be alert to ensure they do not become exposed to these fibres.
A very small number of asbestos-related disease cases occur each year in people who have not worked with asbestos products. The low number of cases makes it difficult to determine the exact cause of the disease or the likely exposure event, but unsafe handling of asbestos materials in the home may have contributed to some of these cases.
The uncontrolled disturbance of asbestos containing materials must be avoided at any time to prevent the release of airborne asbestos and increase the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres. The exposure to airborne asbestos fibres should be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable by managing asbestos containing materials in-situ and adopting safe work practices as required by the Work Health & Safety Regulations and Safe Work Australia Codes of Practice “How to Manage & Control Asbestos In the Workplace”: and “ How to Safely Remove Asbestos”.
If you require assistance in asbestos inspection, asbestos testing or asbestos assessment contact SESA on 02 8786 1808.
First posted here https://www.sesa.com.au/15-asbestos/asbestos-exposure-risk-of-developing-asbestos-related-disease.html
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