Asbestos in the Workplace

Asbestos in the Workplace - Asbestos in the Workplace...

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Asbestos in the Workplace 1/31/08 Classic environmental health issue Started as an occupational disease - asbestosis, mesothelioma Industry delay of knowledge (asbestos manufacturers knew about the dangers for 80 years before anything was done about it) Negligence Suits Environmental exposures WTC towers 9/11 Asbestos in drinking water What is Asbestos? The magic mineral: because it occurs as fibers you can make it into things out of it and it is fire proof. Asbestos is a general term used to describe several fibrous mineral silicates that occur as white, grayish or greenish masses, either compact or of long silky fibers. The most important types are: Chrysotile – a simple magnesium silicate (95% of the world asbestos production come from this type) Amosite – a complex magnesium iron silicate Crocidolite – a complex sodium iron silicate (only found in S. Africa) Characteristics of asbestos: Flexible Heat resistant Resistant to chemicals Good insulators A new type of asbestos Vermiculite (worm like) U.S. Chrysotile asbestos consumption by use – 1973 (in tons) Asbestos cement pipe – 141,000 (it was thought to strengthen the piping) Asbestos latex sheet – 134,000 Asbestos floor tile – 125,000 (probably the only safe use of asbestos) Asbestos paper – 84,000 Friction material A/C sheets, shingles etc. Roof coatings Textiles Plastics Joint cements Miscellaneous Asbestos use increased rapidly in starting around 1930 and then decreased rapidly in the 80s when it was found to be dangerous. Pneumoconiosis of the lungs caused by breathing asbestos in the workplace (similar to pneumonia)
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Another pneumoconiosis is silicosis Asbestosis dangers in the workplace have been well known for over 100 years Death by cardiopulmonary collapse Important dates in the early history of asbestos and disease: 1907 – Murray report to British parliament on fibrosis in factory workers
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Asbestos in the Workplace - Asbestos in the Workplace...

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