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An evaluation of personal airborne asbestos exposure measurements during abatement of dry wall and floor tile/mastic

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This investigation provides information on exposure to workers during asbestos abatement of dry wall and floor tile/mastic. Personal airborne exposure concentrations were collected during an asbestos abatement project involving dry wall material and floor tile/mastic. Twenty-five dry wall and twenty-three floor tile/ mastic personal air samples were collected during abatement. Exposure concentrations for dry wall and floor tile/mastic abatement were 0.85 f cm-3-TWA (time-weighted average) and 0.04 f cm-3-TWA for arithmetic means and 0.72 f cm-3-TWA and 0.03 f cm-3-TWA for geometric means, respectively. One outlier was determined for dry wall and none for floor tile/mastic. Sample distribution exhibited variability and was non-normal (logarithmic) for both types of materials abated. Probability of exceeding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Permissible Exposure Limit for floor tile/mastic was low. Employment of respirators during abatement of floor tile/mastic is not required by regulatory standards, but is necessary for dry wall abatement. Comparison of exposure for within- and between-workers suggests that the process of abatement is the important factor for source of exposure. These exposure data suggest that dry wall abatement workers are not a homogeneous group, but floor tile/mastic workers are a homogeneous group.
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Keywords: ASBESTOS FIBER DISTRIBUTION; OCCUPATIONAL GROUPS; OCCUPATIONAL PROTECTION; RESPIRATORY DISEASE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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