Presentation on theme: "Asbestos Awareness Updated: December 2007. Asbestos Awareness Provide all employees with basic information about asbestos and its hazards and proper protection."— Presentation transcript:
Asbestos Awareness Updated: December 2007
Asbestos Awareness Provide all employees with basic information about asbestos and its hazards and proper protection measures, Identify typical asbestos-containing materials (ACM’s) within employee work areas, Reinforce importance of KFD Policy 339 & 314 This training does not qualify employees to work with asbestos-containing materials Purpose of training:
Asbestos Naturally occurring fibrous mineral Six different forms of asbestos Chrysotile - most common type in US (95%) Amosite - 2nd most common (2-3%) Crocidolite - 3rd most common (1-2%) Actinolite Anthophyllite Tremolite What is Asbestos?
Asbestos Source Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. It is mined from the ground Canada, Russia, Africa, and formerly in the Unites States
Asbestos Awareness What makes asbestos desirable? Abundant Cheap What makes it unique? Fibers breakdown into microscopic fibers rather than dust particles.
Asbestos Value Why is asbestos so commonly used? It is a good insulator It holds up well to heat, - fireproof under normal fire situations When added to other materials, it strengthens them It doesn’t rot and is impervious to most chemicals
Two Application Examples Asbestos strengthens concrete- Concrete water mains and concrete board in the form of 4 x 8 sheets and shingle siding, owe their strength to asbestos fibers. Asbestos has excellent insulating properties- Boilers and steam pipes were insulated with asbestos containing material. These materials often contain almost 100% asbestos with only enough binder material to keep it in place
Hazardous Characteristics. What makes asbestos dangerous? Extremely small fibers are very aerodynamic. Remains airborne for very long periods. Asbestos is a fiber that can be continually broken donw and still remain a fiber while typical materials breakdown to particles. Asbestos will divide into microscopic fibers that are 1200 times smaller than a human hair (see photo). Human hair Asbestos fibers
Historical Perspective During the 1930s, it was found that it improved almost any material that it was added to. It was sold as, and truly was, the “Miracle Fiber” As was discovered later, it is not a healthy thing to expose people to asbestos fiber.
Fire Scene Caution The lack of awareness or knowledge of the health dangers caused an uncontrolled and unregulated use of asbestos. IT COULD BE ANYWHERE!
Historical Perspective Asbestos use continued long after there was an indication that it created health problems in exposed people, but finally in the mid 1970s the government begin to curtail the use of asbestos.
Friability Friable vs. Non-friable Friable - easily crumbled to powder using hand pressure ( high likelihood of airborne exposure ) –Spray fireproofing –Pipe insulation Nonfriable - not easily crumbled by hand but can be crumbled by mechanical means ( possibility of airborne exposure) –Floor tile –Roofing products –Siding materials
Non Friable Asbestos Warning When non-friable asbestos containing material (ACM) is subjected to intense heat, weather or mechanical forces, such as those encountered during structural fires, demolition or renovation, it can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder, and thereby release asbestos fibers.
Asbestos Presence How is asbestos presence determined ? Laboratory analysis with microscope Puget Sound Clean Air Agency requires certified inspection of all demolition projects in King County. Certified contractors are required for removal of asbestos prior to demolition.
ACM Summary Common asbestos-containing materials Pipe, boiler and duct insulation Sprayed or troweled plaster Spray fire proofing Cement pipes and panels Mechanical gaskets and packing Ceiling tiles Popcorn ceiling Floor tile and adhesive Linoleum backing
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 that you are working in a friable asbestos atmosphere.
Asbestos in the Fire Building The hazardous and toxic atmosphere created by the fire often dissipates relatively quickly. The hazardous atmosphere created by the release of asbestos fiber does not.
Asbestos in the Fire Building The fibers that have the greatest potential for respiratory damage can’t be seen. These fibers can remain airborne for hours and in the area indefinitely. The SCBA worn by the firefighter will protect from this exposure.
Asbestos in the Fire Building Most filter masks, dust masks, won’t filter these small fibers. The HEPA filter half-mask (magenta cartridge) may stop some of the asbestos. Filter masks are not appropriate for asbestos exposure.
Asbestos in the Fire Building Protect your respiratory system by wearing SCBA during the fire and during salvage and overhaul. KFD Policy & Guideline #339 (paragraph 2 bullet f.) “SCBA shall be used by all personnel who enter into hazardous atmospheres during structural firefighting activities or other IDLH or potential IDLH atmospheres, including; …f.Where invisible contaminants are present or suspected. This includes the overhaul stage of the fire.” KFD Policy & Guideline #314 (All Members bullet 1.) “ All members will be decontaminated, when practical and when it will not delay essential operations, after exiting a fire area and prior to removal of their SCBA face piece.”
Post Fire Operations Respiratory protection- SCBA’s- must be used during the fire investigation period if the damaged area is suspected to have asbestos contamination. Once you suspect that an area is contaminated, it is not easy to change that suspicion. There is no acceptable reason to allow an unmasked person, Fire Investigator, Fire Marshal or Chief, into a suspected contaminated area.
Response to Asbestos Abatement Sites A Fire Call to a building where asbestos is being removed adds a new dimension. Exits can be compromised by the “containment”. The negative air machines are drawing air towards the containment. The containment area is contaminated with asbestos fiber.
Response to Asbestos Abatement Sites (Non-Fire) An EMS call for a worker in “containment” must be handled as a HazMat call by the medics. Entry into the containment requires full protective gear. The victim and all medics and equipment must be decontaminated prior to loading and transport.
Health Issues Asbestosis - fribrotic scaring of the lungs –10-20 year latency period –Associated with high dose exposure –Smoking creates synergistic effect –Increased chance of other asbestos diseases *Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath and a dry crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling Health hazards of asbestos exposure
Health Issues Mesothelioma - cancer of the chest cavity –20-40 year latency period –Not necessarily associated with high dose exposure –Rare –Almost always fatal Health hazards of asbestos exposure
Health Issues Lung cancer –20-30 year latency period –Many other causes of lung cancer –Most frequent form of asbestos disease today –Smoking synergistic effect (50-90 times) –Associated with high doses Health hazards of asbestos exposure
Regulation Regulated by: State and federal OSHA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Asbestos is extensively regulated!
Regulation Requires employee training (i.e. This training) Exposure monitoring when working with asbestos Establishes “permissible exposure level” for employees = 0.01 fibers per cubic centimeter (cc) of air (1 cc is approximately a sugar cube) Identifies work practices Identifies personal protection requirements Identifies work practice prohibitions OSHA Regulations
Regulation Requires building survey prior to construction work Removal of asbestos containing materials before renovation or demolition Establishes notification requirements Defines proper transport and disposal requirements EPA regulates asbestos in schools EPA Regulations
KFD Policy Kent Fire Department Policy 314 ‘Fire Incident Decontamination’: Mandates gross decontamination of firefighters prior to removal of SCBA face piece after operating in suspected hazardous areas. Mandates proper decontamination and controls of suspected contaminated protective clothing. Protects firefighters health and well being.
Personal Responsibility Do not damage or disturb any asbestos- containing materials Immediately report the presence of damaged asbestos-containing or suspect asbestos- containing material to your supervisor. Follow KFD Policy 339 and 314. Your responsibilities:
Increased Knowledge=Increased Safety Kent Fire Department Policy #339 and #314 protects firefighters from exposure to asbestos and other contaminants. Review them now for full understanding and... Make them emergency scene habit!
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