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Asbestos Awareness – Hazards and Regulations A summary of the properties and health hazards of asbestos and safety requirements for personnel SeaTac/Kent/Maple.

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Presentation on theme: "Asbestos Awareness – Hazards and Regulations A summary of the properties and health hazards of asbestos and safety requirements for personnel SeaTac/Kent/Maple."— Presentation transcript:

1 Asbestos Awareness – Hazards and Regulations A summary of the properties and health hazards of asbestos and safety requirements for personnel SeaTac/Kent/Maple Valley Fire Training Consortium August 2011

2 Topics Covered Properties of asbestos Uses of asbestos Health hazards of asbestos Activities resulting in potential asbestos exposure Asbestos regulations Where to get more information and help

3 Asbestos Exposure - General Overview 1.3 million workers are exposed in the U.S. – primarily in the construction industry. Asbestos removal and building renovation & demolition have the greatest exposures. Exposure in general industry: - manufacture of asbestos products - automotive brake and clutch repair - Housekeeping and custodial work

4 Properties of Asbestos Asbestos ore Naturally occurring fibrous minerals Good tensile strength Flexible Heat resistant Electrical resistance Good insulation Chemical resistant Asbestos fibers Because of these unique properties, asbestos was used extensively in variety of products.

5 Types of Asbestos - Chrysotile - White asbestos - Amosite - Brown asbestos - Crocidolite - Blue asbestos Blue Asbestos- Asbestos fibers, high magnification Most commonly used: Others: Tremolite (sometimes found in vermiculite) Actinolite Anthophyllite

6 Vermiculite – some products contained asbestos Vermiculite insulation in attics

7 Uses of Asbestos Pipe insulation Surfacing insulating materials Reinforcement of materials Fireproofing Acoustic and decorative plaster Textiles Asbestos insulated pipe Asbestos insulated boiler Asbestos has been used for centuries, but greatly increased during and after World War II in ship insulation and the following: Use has greatly declined since the late 1970s

8 Examples of Uses of Asbestos Vinyl asbestos flooring Sprayed-on fireproofing material Sheet vinyl containing asbestos These products may be found in homes and buildings constructed before 1981.

9 Damaged asbestos pipe insulation This damaged pipe insulation is a health hazard to persons working around it, handling it or removing it. Asbestos fibers are visible on the torn edges.

10 Asbestos Mill Board Asbestos millboard was used in the construction of walls and ceilings, especially around furnaces and wood-burning stoves, where insulation and fire protection was required. Most varieties of asbestos millboard typically contained between 80% and 85% asbestos.

11 Asbestos gaskets– may be round, flat or impregnated with waterproof sealant Asbestos fabric in HVAC system Damaged asbestos gasket Asbestos in gaskets and fabric

12 Asbestos Roofing Material – used from 1920s to 1970s

13 Cement-asbestos pipe (Transite) Cement-asbestos pipe, sometimes called Transite, was used underground and above ground in years past and may show up in pipe replacement jobs, building demolition jobs or excavations.

14 Asbestos Ceiling Tile - used until about 1980 Usually white and in 1 by 1 or 2 by 4 sizes Tile close-up

15 Asbestos shingles and siding Found in older houses – not to be confused with newer asbestos-free cement siding. There is little hazard unless disturbed. The top right hand picture shows a siding replacement job with broken green asbestos shingles which would have released dust and fibers into the air if done incorrectly. Removal done correctly

16 Asbestos Popcorn Ceiling Material damaged ceiling material Uncontrolled popcorn ceiling removal job Popcorn ceilings (also known as acoustic ceilings) were popular in many homes built from the late 1950s through the early 80s. Not all popcorn ceiling material contained asbestos, but some did. Many types were more easily dislodged than others.

17 Asbestos in joint compound and plaster See WRD for guidance on employee exposure to joint compoundsWRD Some joint compound contained up to 5% asbestos Joint compound Plaster with asbestos

18 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

19 Some Asbestos-Containing Materials (Continued) Chalkboards Roofing Shingles Roofing Felt Base Flashing Thermal Paper Products Fire Doors Caulking/Putties Adhesives Wallboard Joint Compounds Vinyl Wall Coverings Spackling Compounds 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

20 Some Terms: ACM and PACM Presumed Asbestos Containing Material - Surfacing materials - Thermal System Insulation - Flooring Installed prior to 1981 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 Containing Material Any material containing more than 1% asbestos by weight. Must be handled as ACM unless proved otherwise

21 Asbestos is an Inhalation Hazard Tiny breathable asbestos fibers are deposited in the alveoli, the ending small air sacs in the lungs. The bodys defense mechanisms cannot break down the fibers. Asbestos fibers cause damage to the lungs. The fibers may also travel to the pleura, the membrane lining the outside of the lungs. Airborne asbestos fibers inhaled deep into the lung can cause damage. Alveoli Pleura

22 Asbestos-related Diseases. 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.

23 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 pipe- covering materials. Joe, Forced to retire in 1974 at age 50 from poor health; he died from asbestosis in 1990 at age 66. Photos © 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.

24 Photo © 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 the amount inhaled. This cancer may take years to develop. Richard Pankowski, 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. Richards exposure may have begun when he was a child. Tumors protruding through the right rib cage.

25 Lung Cancer Lung cancer causes the largest number of deaths from asbestos exposure. The risk greatly increases in workers who smoke.

26 Other Cancers esophagus larynx oral cavity stomach colon kidney Evidence suggests that ingesting asbestos can also cause cancers in the: 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.

27 Asbestos-related diseases Amount of fibers inhaled Length of exposure Whether exposed worker smokes Age – because of delayed effects The potential for asbestos related disease depends on: Dont smoke! An asbestos worker is at much greater risk of developing lung cancer if he/she smokes.

28 How do asbestos fibers get in the air? Friable: can be easily crumbled or crushed by hand, releasing fibers into the air Very small fibers stay in the air for long periods Damaged or deteriorated ACM increases friability Physical disturbance of asbestos-containing materials can suspend fibers in the air. Asbestos is most hazardous when it is FRIABLE. Non-friable ACM (floor and ceiling tiles, house siding, fire doors, etc.) wont release fibers unless disturbed or damaged in some way. Photo of friable asbestos

29 Asbestos in the Fire Building Almost any material subjected to intense heat will burn away – except for asbestos. To the firefighter working in a structure fire with ACMs present, this means you are working in a friable asbestos atmosphere. The fibers that have the greatest potential for respiratory damage cannot be seen. The SCBA worn by firefighters will protect them from this exposure. Firefighters need gross decontamination after exiting a fire area and prior to removal of their SCBA face piece.

30 Asbestos in the Fire Building Most filter masks and dust masks will not stop these small fibers. A HEPA filter half-mask may filter some asbestos. Filter masks are not appropriate for asbestos exposure in fire buildings. Protect your respiratory system by wearing your SCBA during the fire and during salvage and overhaul. Respiratory protection – SCBA – must be used during the fire investigation period if the damaged area is suspected to have ACM.

31 Response to Asbestos Abatement Sites A fire response to a building undergoing asbestos abatement creates additional hazards. –Exits can be compromised by the containment. –The negative air machines can draw air to the containment. –The containment area is contaminated with asbestos fiber.

32 Response to Asbestos Abatement Sites (Non-fire) An EMS response for a worker in containment must be handled as a HazMat call. –Entry into the containment requires full protective equipment –The victim and all response personnel and equipment need to be decontaminated prior to loading and transport. –The containment area is contaminated with asbestos fiber.

33 Communication of Hazards Warning Signs for regulated areas visible before entering Warning Labels attached to all products and their containers AVOID BREATHING AIRBORNE ASBESTOS FIBERS Entrance to regulated area

34 To avoid a situation illustrated in the photo below, the regulations cover any construction or maintenance activity releasing or likely to release asbestos fibers into the air including: Construction/Maintenance Activities renovation remodeling buildings structures mechanical piping equipment and systems ships other facilities demolition asbestos removal and disposal Covers work done in: Loose asbestos debris from demolition project

35 "Good Faith" Inspection/Survey Required for all construction and maintenance in buildings that may contain asbestos: –Must be done by an EPA-accredited AHERA building inspector –documented written report –not required if assumed and treated as asbestos Possible fines of $250/day if not done or poorly done Both building owner and contractor can be cited!

36 Custodial/Light maintenance work Materials of concern: vinyl asbestos tile popcorn ceiling exposed piping exposed fireproofing Activities of concern: sweeping vacuuming cleaning changing lights Housekeeping and building maintenance activities may expose workers to asbestos fibers if ACM/PACM is disturbed. Damaged asbestos pipe insulation Asbestos debris on floor

37 Custodial/Light maintenance work Disturb ACM when replacing light bulbs, etc. Sand asbestos floor tiles or backing material Pin or hang pictures, plants, or objects on walls or from ceilings covered with asbestos materials DO NOT: Dry dust or sweep surfaces, ceilings, walls, or floors

38 Custodial/Light maintenance work Wet mop floors Use only a HEPA-filtered vacuum to clean up asbestos debris DO: Dust with a damp cloth

39 RCW RCW – Asbestos Safety Act WAC Part I-1 WAC Part I-1 Occupational Health-Asbestos WAC WAC Asbestos Certification & Training WAC WAC Construction regulations which refer to WAC DOSH Asbestos Regulations

40 AHERA (Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act ) AHERA NESHAPS (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants) NESHAPS State environmental agencies: –Washington State Department of Ecology –Local Air Pollution Authorities (SCAPCA) –Washington State Department of Health, County Health Departments Environmental Regulations (EPA)

41 Further Information DOSH – asbestos webpage DOSH OSHA – asbestos webpage OSHA Environmental Protection Agency – asbestos webpage Environmental Protection Agency Department of Ecology – asbestos waste webpage Department of Ecology

42 Safety & health program review and worksite evaluation DOSH Consultation Services By employer invitation only Free Confidential No citations or penalties Letter explains findings Follow-up all serious hazards For assistance, you can call one of our consultants. Click below for local L & I office locations:


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