Monitoring in the Environment

Exposure Pathway and Exposure Types

Metabolism of Asbestos

Biomarkers of Asbestos

Organs Affected by Asbestos

Molecular Action of Asbestos

Measuring Human Exposure

Risk Assessment

Epidemiological Studies


Fate and Transport

What Everyone Should Know

Asbestos Policy

Regulatory Standards

Asbestos Removal and Sealing


Asbestos Removal and Sealing

Reducing exposure to asbestos by repairing damaged material will involve covering the material or sealing it. Sealing is commonly used for pipe, furnace, and boiler insulation. The sealing process either coats the material, reducing fiber release, or binds the fibers together. A covering can be used instead of sealant, also preventing the release of fibers. Both these methods are relatively cheap when compared with removal, but future removal may still be necessary. Another technology used in reducing exposure to asbestos is personal protective equipment. Respirators with HEPA filters should be worn when working with asbestos, in addition to other controls.

Removal is the most expensive method of dealing with asbestos, and it also has the greatest risk involved, due to the large number of fibers that may possibly released in removing it. The most common way to reduce asbestos emissions during renovation, demolition, cutting or stripping of asbestos material is to use a wetting agent throughout to keep asbestos from becoming airborne. It is important that the material is adequately wet to prevent release. There are different wetting techniques for different types of material. The material should be sealed in containers after removal. A HEPA filter vacuum is essential for cleaning. It is important to never use a vacuum without HEPA filter; it will just spread the asbestos. Portable air ventilation systems can be used to protect workers from asbestos. Enclosure equipment is often used when working on brakes, to separate the worker from asbestos; the wet method is also used for brakes.

Today’s technology makes it possible to monitor for asbestos, keep asbestos exposure below permissible limits, and remove the hazard. It protects the health of many people who would otherwise be exposed.

Prevention and Control Summary

  1. Reduce or eliminate asbestos use
  2. Establish a safe site for asbestos disposal
  3. Monitor asbestos concentration in air
  4. Recognize and identify high-risk areas
    a. Occupational, para-occupational exposure
  5. Post signs, inform the workers and public
    a. Vicinity of asbestos-producing, -using plants
  6. Install dust control procedure, use PPE
  7. If you are a smoker and think you were exposed to asbestos before, the first thing you should do is to stop smoking. This will significantly reduce your chance of having a lung cancer.
  8. Educate yourself and others

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