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Asbestos Exposure & Risk of Developing Asbestos Related - 15 Jan 2018 00:30

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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

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”.

SESA

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 - Comments: 0

Office / Indoor Air Quality – Investigating IAQ Complai - 14 Jan 2018 22:21

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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

https://www.sesa.com.au/occupational-health-safety-ohs-consultants-sydney-nsw-act.html

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

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 - Comments: 0

The Key To Learning About Solar Energy Is Reading This - 12 Jan 2018 16:19

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In This Article We're Going To Be Taking A Look At A Variety Of Uses Of Solar Power

No matter where you live, solar power can really reduce your energy costs. Over a ten year span, energy costs will double. Moving towards solar energy usage is a wise choice for anyone with a home or business. Learn even more through the article below.

Switching to solar energy can save a ton on your electric bill. Solar power is absorbed through panels that are properly positioned on your roof. It is especially convenient if you live in an area that gets a long of sun. This will provide usable energy to your home in a much cheaper fashion than conventional electricity.

Know how light mixes with the trees around your property. You may think you've got the perfect spot for a solar panel, but watch it throughout the day. The sun coming in from different angles may lead to surprising shadows from trees and foliage. This will affect your solar output.

When it comes to solar energy, you must keep the solar panels clean for best results. Dirty solar panels do not allow the solar panels to absorb the maximum amount of energy. Therefore, to ensure your solar panels are running at peak performance, keep a regular maintenance and cleaning schedule.

Solar panels will reduce your heating bill, as will solar water heat producers. If an area of your home is exposed to a minimum of five hours of direct sunlight, a photovoltaic panel system might work well for you. Solar water heating is often used to reduce the cost of heating a swimming pool.

Many governments offer tax savings for consumers who install green energy products. These tax savings can help offset the installation cost of a new solar energy system. Additionally, many state's also allow you to deduct some or most of the costs of the installation on your state's tax return allowing double savings.

Many companies are now allowing consumers to lease solar energy products. This is perfect if you are unsure if you are a good candidate for solar energy or if you do not have the financial means to purchase a solar energy system. Ask your local electric company for suggestions of companies who lease solar energy products.

Fossil fuels that are used around the world do not help our environment. In fact, the cause a great deal of damage to the world we live on. Solar energy will provide us with the power we need without causing any damage to our earth. There will be no more gases, carcinogens or even carbon dioxide produced by solar energy.

If you want to help the planet, consider solar energy panels. Solar energy is a great way to go green since it uses a renewable resource. You can use a lot less fossil fuels if you get into solar energy as well.

If you are located in the Northern hemisphere, your solar panels should be facing south. People who live in the Southern hemisphere should install their panels facing north. Putting them in any other way will defeat the entire purpose since the panels will not have a chance to collect a large amount of energy from the sun.

Many companies are now allowing consumers to lease solar energy products. This is perfect if you are unsure if you are a good candidate for solar energy or if you do not have the financial means to purchase a solar energy system. Ask your local electric company for suggestions of companies who lease solar energy products.

You should not consider investing in green energies unless you are ready to spend at least fifteen years in your home. Paying off your solar energy system will take you years and the return on your investment will depend on how long you stay in the same home and keep using the solar energy system.

Before getting a solar energy system, look at the shade that's close to your home. If your home is fully shaded most of the day, solar panels might not be the best option. Deep shade may interfere with the performance of your solar energy panels.

As was mentioned earlier in this article, solar energy is a great source of renewable energy. However, in order for it to be worth the investment, it has to make financial sense as well. Use the tips given in the article above to help make the decision whether or not solar energy is the economically responsible choice for you. - Comments: 0

When You Need Solar Energy Advice, This Is The Article - 09 Jan 2018 19:31

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Even You Can Build Your Own Solar Panel With Ease

Solar energy is a concept that is over the heads of many people. They think of it as something that is not worth it due to the amount of time it takes to implement it into your life. While it is a tedious process, it is well worth it. This article will help you better understand the benefits of solar energy.

There are a couple of different photo-voltaic panels to choose from. Polycrystalline panels, while relatively affordable, lack the efficiency of monocrystalline panels. When choosing solar energy supplies for your home, look for the most energy-efficient materials available.

The efficiency of a solar energy system varies a lot depending on its exposure to the sun. If you live in a sunny area, your system should produce enough energy to cover all your needs but solar energy might not be such a good investment if you live in an area where the sky is usually filled with clouds.

Look into solar powered appliances. There are a number of products that are available that are powered by solar energy. One of the most popular is the solar powered water heaters. Just having one appliance run by solar energy can save you hundreds of dollars each year in energy costs.

Do your own research and find out if there are any rebates available for adding a solar system to your home. There are many local, state and federal programs that offer rebates for installing solar power in your home. Also check to see if you are eligible for tax incentives as well.

Know how light mixes with the trees around your property. You may think you've got the perfect spot for a solar panel, but watch it throughout the day. The sun coming in from different angles may lead to surprising shadows from trees and foliage. This will affect your solar output.

Humans have taken advantage of the sun's heat for thousands of years. A lot of energy can be saved by drying your clothes outdoors in sunny weather. This cuts down a lot on the energy used to dry your clothing in an electric or gas clothes dryer, and linens dried outside smell great.

Don't be unrealistic about the benefits of a solar-powered water heater. First off, they will only save you a little bit of money. Secondly, never assume morning showers mean cold water. Water that has been heated by the sun can stay that way for up to a full day.

Once your solar panels are installed, you need to keep track of how much power you are producing and using on a daily basis. Invest in a quality monitoring system and look at the data as often as possible. If you notice your panels are not producing as much energy as usual, it might be time to clean them.

Be sure mountings on solar energy panels are engineer certified for your area. For instance, if if you're in an area that gets frequent cyclones, the mountings need to be cyclone rated. High-quality systems will be wind certified to ensure they don't blow away in a huge wind storm. Mounting is an important part of the system and not all suppliers regard them that way. Stay alert when buying your system to make sure they have proper certifications.

When planning your panels, take into consideration the shadows that nearby trees may pass over the area. Solar panels usually need to be mounted high on the roof, in a location that is exposed to the sun for the longest period of time. However, what seems like a great spot may be covered in shade for a certain period of the day.

You need to think seriously about the benefits of a good solar water heater. Even the best models will only reduce your power consumption by 1/3. It is also important to remember that just because you are showering while it is still dark out that you will not have hot water. Water heated by solar power should stay warm for 24 hours.

Try not to step on the solar panels. You have to protect them at all costs. If you must step on them, make sure that you avoid walking at the ends of the panels since this is the part that is more likely to break.

It is about time you stepped forward and took advantage of the many benefits solar energy has to offer. Having knowledge about solar energy is pointless if you can't use it. Take the knowledge this article has given you and you will get the most out of solar energy. Make sure you pass them on to your family and friends for their benefit also. - Comments: 0

Get Great Tips About Solar Energy That Are Simple To Us - 09 Jan 2018 13:53

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How Solar Panels Can Save You Money

Solar energy: Perhaps you've heard of it? This is when the power of the sun is used to create electricity. Solar energy is much cleaner than other sources of energy, especially coal and other fossil fuels. Should solar energy be your current consideration, read this article.

Contact your local government to ask them about rules in place where you live. No solar technology should be in use without permission from the powers that be. You may find yourself fined and having to take down all that you worked so hard to put in place if you don't inquire first.

If you don't want to or can't go for full solar power, at least consider a solar water heating system. Many regional and community governments offer financial incentives, rebates and tax credits for even doing this, just like they do for full solar installations. Check with your local government before doing anything to know the perks.

When opting to lease a solar energy system, ensure that you can transfer the lease. If you end up selling your home, you could be paying for a solar energy system you are not using. Being able to transfer your lease will relieve you of your obligation and permit the new residents to take advantage of solar energy.

One of the greatest benefits of solar energy is the fact that it will never run out. Short of the sun burning out, it will always be there to provide us power. Using solar energy is unlike any other energy source because it is a consistent power source and will be there until the end of days.

Position solar panels on the east or west side of your home or business. Since the sun travels from east to west throughout the day, placing solar panels on areas of your roof that face north or south is a waste. You'll get much better energy returns by following the same path as the sun.

Keep your solar panels clean. If your solar panels are dirty or obstructed in any way, they won't work as well. Keep an eye on your solar panels and clean them if they're not quite looking their best. Hosing them down occasionally will ensure that they are much more efficient.

Many governments offer tax savings for consumers who install green energy products. These tax savings can help offset the installation cost of a new solar energy system. Additionally, many state's also allow you to deduct some or most of the costs of the installation on your state's tax return allowing double savings.

Don't work with pushy salespeople. You will more than likely run into pushy salespeople. Always be ready to inform them you'll think about their options in the near future but that you're not going to commit right this moment. Solar energy is only going to become more affordable in the future, so don't jump on the first good deal you see. Making a decision while under pressure can lead to regret later.

If you are building a vacation, rental or retirement home in a rural area, solar power can make a lot of sense. It can spare you the cost of a power line being routed to your home. At the very least it can give you some power in the case of local grid outages, as rural areas have power restored far more slowly than what you might be used to in a city.

Think about heating your hot tub or pool water with solar energy. These devices are some of the most energy consuming things that people have in their homes these days. If you use solar energy instead of standard energy to power these you could greatly reduce your carbon footprint and save money in the end.

When you are building your own solar panel systems, expect to build multiple arrays for the highest-efficiency. A solar panel can only generate a certain amount of energyusually a fairly low numberwhich means that you need more than one panel. Multiple panels in the right spots is a recipe for success.

Do the math prior to investing in solar power. Not every location is a good bet to deliver energy savings. The best option is to look into the costs and the potential earnings (based off your sun conditions) to see what the costs will really be like. Sometimes, it'll be way more costly to use solar.

As you can see, using solar power at home or at your business makes a lot of sense. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you will be helping yourself by freeing yourself from reliance on the energy grid. Use these tips today to see if solar makes sense for you. - Comments: 0

Asbestos Exposure & Risk of Developing Asbestos Related - 07 Jan 2018 02:53

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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).

Asbestos Report

‘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 - Comments: 0

Asbestos Exposure & Risk of Developing Asbestos Related - 06 Jan 2018 04:00

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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).

Asbestos Surveys Sydney

‘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 - Comments: 0

Asbestos Exposure & Risk of Developing Asbestos Related - 06 Jan 2018 02:28

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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

Asbestos Clearance Certificate ACT

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 - Comments: 0

Asbestos Exposure & Risk of Developing Asbestos Related - 05 Jan 2018 10:48

Tags:

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

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”.

https://www.sesa.com.au/asbestos-awareness-training-courses-nsw-act.html

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 - Comments: 0

Asbestos Exposure & Risk of Developing Asbestos Related - 05 Jan 2018 07:45

Tags:

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

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.

Asbestos Assessor

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 - Comments: 0

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