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A study of asbestos emission from asbestos-containing products with particular regard to public schools in the Hobart area


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Jackiewicz, A and Marek, A 1985 , 'A study of asbestos emission from asbestos-containing products with particular regard to public schools in the Hobart area', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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For a long time, exposure to asbestos has been considered as an
occupational health hazard for asbestos workers. Recently, research
studies have shown that almost the entire community is exposed to low
levels of airborne asbestos. According to Scientific Authorities
(U.S.E.P.A. 1979) in cases where exposures are very low, it is not
possible to establish a threshold level of exposure below which there
is no evidence of some health risk. This statement has raised concern
throughout the world regarding general public health because asbestos
is ubiquitous and low levels of asbestos contamination can be
demonstrated everywhere.
Asbestos fibre emission causing risk for the general population
might be associated with open-air construction activities such as where
asbestos products are used for roofing, side cladding, guttering, and
ducting for'ventilation systems as well as during the demolition or
renovation of structures containing asbestos. Asbestos fibres released
from automobile brake linings, or during the handling of asbestos waste,
may also cause a health risk.
Demolition processes may constitute the most significant source
of short-term exposure to the general population living nearby. According
to the Canadian Asbestos Information Centre (Candaian A.I.C. 1982), even
high density products will liberate fibres as they are severely fragmented
by explosive demolition. The same source provides data of
measurements made in the Federal Republic of Germany during the demolition
of an asbestos cement facade. It states that, in the breathing zone of
the apparatus, a concentration level of 0.4 to 0.8 fibres per millilitre, with a fibre length longer than 5 micrometres, was measured. At 8 to
100 metres down-wind distance, the concentration was lower, but still
significantly higher than the background concentration in that area.
Generally, the hygiene standard at demolition sites is breached from
time to time and the people living nearby such operations are exposed
to elevated levels of asbestos fibres.
Also, in areas directly neighbouring industrial users of asbestos,
the levels of air population with asbestos fibres have been shown to
be high. Such a situation is a direct result of difficulties
encountered in reducing the emission of fine particles of asbestos
during factory operations and asbestos transportation.
Measurement studies of the air pollution of several cities have
proved that, in some industrial countries, exposure to asbestos dust
has extended from occupational to environmental situations. Monitoring
programmes in European countries have determined the levels of asbestos
fibres in samples from major city locations. Sampling locations have
been designated to provide information on levels of asbestos in air in
some typical urban sites such as crossroads with heavy traffic, areas
with building construction or in the vicinity of a freeway. The assessment
of environmental air pollution by asbestos has been accomplished
with the transmission Electron Microscope or the SEM in a quantitative
way chrysotile fibres were present in every sample analysed. Data on
sampling and number of samples analysed in Paris and its suburbs are
given in Table 1.1. As can be seen, analysis of samples yielded very
similar results. Mean value derived from the analysis of samples taken
in areas with buildings under construction was highest, but all results
obtained were approximately more than 10 thousand times lower than
hygienic standards for the occupational exposure (Sebastien et al.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Jackiewicz, A and Marek, A
Keywords: Asbestos, Asbestos
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1985 the Authors - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Env.St.)--University of Tasmania, 1986. Bibliography: leaves 98-100

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