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Asbestos Awareness –Hazards and Regulations

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

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

6 Vermiculite – some products contained asbestos
Vermiculite insulation in attics

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

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

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

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

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
Tile close-up Usually white and in 1’ by 1’ or 2’ by 4’ sizes

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

17 Asbestos in joint compound and plaster
Some joint compound contained up to 5% asbestos Some joint compound contained up to 5% asbestos. Older plasters in lathe and plaster construction also sometimes contained asbestos. Joint compound Plaster with asbestos See WRD for guidance on employee exposure to joint compounds

18 Some Asbestos-Containing Materials*
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 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 (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.) * Source: EPA

19 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

20 Some Terms: “ACM” and “PACM”
Asbestos Containing Material Any material containing more than 1% asbestos by weight. Presumed Asbestos Containing Material - Surfacing materials - Thermal System Insulation - Flooring Installed prior to 1981 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.

21 Asbestos is an Inhalation Hazard
Airborne asbestos fibers inhaled deep into the lung can cause damage. Tiny breathable asbestos fibers are deposited in the alveoli, the ending small air sacs in the lungs. The body’s 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. Pleura Alveoli

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 Photos © 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. 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 Mesothelioma Example Photo © 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. Tumors protruding through the right rib cage. 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. Richard’s exposure may have begun when he was a child.

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: 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.

27 Asbestos-related diseases
The potential for asbestos related disease depends on: Amount of fibers inhaled Length of exposure Whether exposed worker smokes Age – because of delayed effects Don’t 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?
Physical disturbance of asbestos-containing materials can suspend 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 the air for long periods Damaged or deteriorated ACM increases friability Photo of friable asbestos Non-friable ACM (floor and ceiling tiles, house siding, fire doors, etc.) won’t release fibers unless disturbed or damaged in some way.

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 ACM’s 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 Construction/Maintenance Activities
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: renovation remodeling demolition asbestos removal and disposal Covers work done in: buildings structures mechanical piping equipment and systems ships other facilities 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
Housekeeping and building maintenance activities may expose workers to asbestos fibers if ACM/PACM is disturbed. Damaged asbestos pipe insulation Activities of concern: sweeping vacuuming cleaning changing lights Materials of concern: vinyl asbestos tile popcorn ceiling exposed piping exposed fireproofing Asbestos debris on floor

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

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

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

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

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

42 DOSH Consultation Services
Safety & health program review and worksite evaluation 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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