Asbestos Abatement >> How To Safely Remove Asbestos

Evaluating the health effects of exposure to Libby asbestos requires both extensive knowledge of exposure pathways and access to toxicity data. But the toxicological information currently available is limited, so the exact level of health concern for different sizes and types of asbestos remains uncertain. Similarly, How To Safely Remove Asbestos exposure pathway information for Phoenix is limited or unavailable. 

Specific data limitations include Limited information on past concentrations of Libby asbestos in air in and around the Phoenix plant. Significant uncertainties and How To Safely Remove Asbestos conflicts about analysis methods used. These problems limit our ability to estimate the levels of Libby asbestos to which people may have been exposed. 

Unclear data on how and How To Safely Remove Asbestos how often people came in contact with Libby asbestos from the plant—most exposures happened long ago. This information is necessary to estimate accurate exposure doses. Insufficient information about how some vermiculite materials, such as waste rock, were handled or disposed. 

As a result, identifying and assessing potential current exposures is difficult. Given these limitations, How To Safely Remove Asbestos we cannot quantitatively evaluate the public health implications of past operations at this site. The following sections are instead a qualitative assessment of potential public health implications. 

The sections describe the various types of evidence we used to evaluate exposure pathways and How To Safely Remove Asbestos to reach conclusions about the site. Exposure Pathway Analysis An exposure pathway is the way in which an individual is exposed to contaminants originating from a contamination source. 

Every exposure pathway consists of the following five elements: 1. a source of contamination, 2. a media such as air or How To Safely Remove Asbestos soil through which the contaminant is transported, 3. a point of exposure where people can contact the contaminant, 4. a route of exposure by which the contaminant enters or contacts the body; and 5. a receptor population. 

A pathway is considered complete if all five elements are present and connected. Potential exposure pathways indicate that exposure to a contaminant could have occurred in the past, could be occurring currently, or How To Safely Remove Asbestos could occur in the future. 

A potential exposure exists when information about one or more of the five elements of an exposure pathway is missing or uncertain. An incomplete pathway is missing one or more of the pathway elements; it is likely that the elements were never present and How To Safely Remove Asbestos not likely they will ever be present at a later point in time. 

An eliminated pathway was a potential or completed pathway in the past, but has had one or How To Safely Remove Asbestos more of the pathway elements removed to prevent present and future exposures. 

After reviewing information from Libby and from facilities that processed vermiculite from Libby, How To Safely Remove Asbestos the NAER team has identified potential exposure pathways that apply, in general, to all of the vermiculite processing facilities. 

All of these pathways have a common source—vermiculite from Libby—and a common route of exposure—inhalation (see Summary Table 4 on the following page). Although asbestos ingestion and How To Safely Remove Asbestos dermal (skin) exposure pathways could exist, health risks from these pathways are minor in comparison to those resulting from inhalation exposure to asbestos. 

Therefore, How To Safely Remove Asbestos this health consultation does not evaluate these pathways. The occupational exposure pathway for people who worked at the Phoenix plant prior to 1992 is considered complete. 

There are several occupational exposure scenarios resulting from the operation of this facility including Transferring materials from the rail cars to the storage area, and loading of raw materialinto the conveyor system, Bagging process materials, How To Safely Remove Asbestos  Removing waste rock from the furnace area prior to removal off site, and Inhaling ambient dust inside the facility. 

Without question, How To Safely Remove Asbestos former W.R. Grace workers were exposed to airborne levels of asbestos that posed a public health hazard. W.R. Grace & Co records indicate that workers were exposed to high indoor levels of Libby asbestos in the air. 

Employee air sample results for the years 1972 to 1988 (Unpublished information from EPA’s database of W.R. Grace Documents) b are contained in Appendix A, Figure 4. Personal sampling results were up to 4.56 f/cc. When a sampling time was provided, How To Safely Remove Asbestos personal samples collected were approximately 15 to 70 minutes in duration. 

Because of the short sample periods, W.R. Grace industrial hygienists did not always calculate 8­ hour time weighted averages (8 hr. TWA). The 8-hour TWA shows the average concentration, How To Safely Remove Asbestos weighed according to time of exposure, of asbestos that the worker was exposed to during the 8­ hour work day. 

The highest W.R. Grace calculated 8-hour TWA’s was 0.43 f/ccc . According to available information obtained from W.R. Grace records, How To Safely Remove Asbestos in 1976 efforts were underway to control fiber levels inside the plant through local exhaust ventilation systems. W.R. Grace began installing enclosed ore handling and dust control equipment in 1977. 

Area samples collected by W.R. Grace show that concentrations (up to 13.96 f/cc) of fibers were generated by plant operations (see Appendix A, Figure 5). An internal W.R. Grace memorandum estimates that 28% of workers with over 10 years service exposed to ore concentrate from Libby, Montana, How To Safely Remove Asbestos had contracted asbestosis (MDH 2000). 

Cases of asbestos-related disease among former workers at other sites using the ore from the Libby mine have been reported in the media. The frequency and duration of former worker exposures varied depending on their job assignment, facility operation schedule, and How To Safely Remove Asbestos period of employment. Worker exposure to asbestos may have been reduced if respiratory protection was used. 

Information is not available to evaluate the use or How To Safely Remove Asbestos overall effectiveness of respiratory equipment in reducing worker exposures to asbestos at this facility. 

Depending on the severity of their exposures, former workers at the facility could develop health effects that include increased incidence of fatal lung diseases, pulmonary fibrosis, mesothelioma, and How To Safely Remove Asbestos lung cancer as a result of their exposure. 

Workplace exposures at the facility from 1964 to 1978 were higher, and therefore likely posed a more severe health threat to employees than later periods. According to internalW.R. Grace documents, How To Safely Remove Asbestos between 8 and 25 employees worked at this site (Unpublished information from EPA’s database of W.R. Grace Documents).

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