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Increasing Awareness: Asbestos. Ancient History, Characteristics, Types, Uses, Health Effects. Asbestos Definition. The word asbestos derives from a Greek word meaning “inextinguishable”. Asbestos definition.

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Increasing Awareness: Asbestos

Ancient History, Characteristics, Types, Uses, Health Effects


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Asbestos Definition

  • The word asbestos derives from a Greek word meaning “inextinguishable”


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Asbestos definition

  • Either of two incombustible, chemical-resistant, fibrous mineral forms of impure magnesium silicate, used for fireproofing, electrical insulation, building materials, brake linings, and chemical filters.


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What is Asbestos?

  • Natural Mineral (Rock)


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Brief History

  • First known use: 2,500 B.C. pottery and hut insulation

    • Greeks spun and used in cloth

    • Used for wicks in sacred lamps

    • Pottery

  • Diseases in the 1950s-1960s

  • 1971 Asbestos listed as a hazardous air pollutant


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Characteristics

  • Aerodynamic

  • Aerodynamic


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Characteristics

  • Aerodynamic

  • Chemically Resistant

  • Hydrophobic

  • Heat resistive (1250-2000 deg. F)

  • Flexible with High Tensile Strength

  • Aerodynamic

  • Chemically Resistant

  • Hydrophobic

  • Heat resistive (1250-2000 deg. F)

  • Flexible with High Tensile Strength


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Characteristics continued

  • Size

    • Fibers (1-5 microns, human hair is 80)

    • Fibers>Fibrils>microfibrils


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Asbestos Types

  • Chrysotile (white)

    • >95% of all asbestos (white)

    • Hair-like


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Asbestos Types

  • Amosite (Brown)

    • 5 % of all asbestos

    • Needle Like


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Asbestos Types

  • Crocidolite (blue) <1 %


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Asbestos Types

  • Chrysotile >95% of all asbestos (white)

  • Amosite <5% of all asbestos (brown)

  • Crocidolite (blue) <1

  • Tremolite

  • Anthophyllite

  • Actinolite


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Asbestos Types

  • Tremolite, Anthophyllite, Actinolite

    • Little commercial value

    • Usually a contaminant of other asbestos or material type



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Why Use Asbestos?

  • Heat resistive (1250-2000 deg. F)

  • Chemically resistive

  • Great acoustical reduction properties

  • Good elastic/tensile strength properties

  • Poor conductor of electricity

  • Great binder


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Asbestos Containing Materials

  • Acoustical Materials

  • Fire proofing

  • Heat resistive materials

  • Ceiling and floor tile

  • Sheet rock mud

  • Plaster

  • Insulation


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Materials cont.

  • Decorative spray for texture

  • Roof shingles, siding shingles, sheets, etc.

  • Mastics, glues

  • Welding booth panels and soffits

  • Window glazing

  • Some paints


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Health Effects

  • Caused by

    • Inhalation (most likely)

    • Ingestion

    • Injection


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Asbestos Diseases

  • Asbestosis (lung scarring)

  • Lung cancer

  • Mesothelioma (cancer of membrane lining lungs)

  • Pleural plaques, pleural thickening

  • Colon, stomach, esophagus, pancreas cancers


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Respiratory Systems Defense Mechanisms

  • Nose, Mouth,

  • Trachea, Bronchus, Bronchioles

    • Turbulent airflow

    • Smaller pathways

  • Mucous

    • Sticky layer, catches some particles


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Respiratory Systems Defense Mechanisms (Continued)

  • Cilia

    • Hair-like

    • Coated with mucous and move particles back up through bronchus

  • Alveoli (air sacs)

    • O2/CO2 exchange

    • Macrophage Cells




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Asbestos-Smoking-Lung Cancer

  • Asbestos exposure=5X greater chance lung cancer

  • Smoking no asbestos exposure=10X greater chance lung cancer

  • Asbestos exposure of Smoker=50X greater chance of lung cancer. Newest figures now say 88X greater chance


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“King of Cool” - Steve McQueen

  • Died of Mesothelioma in 1980 at the Age of 50

  • Exposed to Asbestos from Work/Hobbies

    • Brake Pads on Cars

    • Construction Work

    • Ship Work


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What Level of Exposure is Safe or Permissible????????

  • 0.1 fibers per cc of air

  • 5 f/cc, 1 f/cc, 0.1 f/cc in last 10 years



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Crowds gather at Market and Laguna streets to flee the Great Fire. Building at lower center right still survives along Laguna. Almost all others pictured here burned.



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Closing Thought. Keep Health Effects in Perspective in the Bay.

  • Expected deaths per 100,000

    • Motor vehicle 1,600

    • Coal mining 441

    • Diagnostic X rays 75

    • Lightning 3

    • Hurricanes 3

    • Asbestos in buildings 1


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Acknowledgement in the Bay.

  • Created by Larry Hagel, Industrial Hygienist, Kyron Environmental Consulting and Training

  • Formerly with Spokane Public Schools and a member of AASA’s Urban Healthy Schools Coalition

  • Email lhagel@kyronenvironmental.com

  • AASA is dedicated to healthy school environments, visit http://www.aasa.org/focus/