Asbestos Abatement >> Friable Asbestos

How are Friable Asbestos-related diseases detected? Individuals who have been exposed (or suspect they have been exposed) to friable asbestos fibers on the job, through the environment, or at home via a family contact should inform their doctor about their exposure history and whether or not they experience any symptoms. 

The symptoms of Friable Asbestos-related diseases may not become apparent for many decades after the exposure. It is particularly important to check with a doctor if any of the following symptoms develop (6): Shortness of breath, wheezing, or hoarseness. A persistent cough that gets worse over time. Blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up from the lungs. Pain or tightening in the chest. 

Difficulty swallowing. Swelling of the neck or face. Loss of appetite. Weight loss. Fatigue or anemia. A thorough physical examination, including a chest x-ray and lung function tests, may be recommended. The chest x-ray is currently the most common tool used to detect Friable Asbestos-related diseases. 

However, it is important to note that chest x-rays cannot detect friable asbestos fibers in the lungs, but they can help identify any early signs of lung disease resulting from Friable Asbestos exposure (2). 

Studies have shown that computed tomography (CT) (a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body taken from different angles; Friable Asbestos the pictures are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine) may be more effective than conventional chest x-rays at detecting friable asbestos-related lung abnormalities in individuals who have been exposed to friable asbestos (12). 

A lung biopsy, which detects microscopic friable asbestos fibers in pieces of lung tissue removed by surgery, is the most reliable test to confirm the presence of friable asbestos-related abnormalities. A bronchoscopy is a less invasive test than a biopsy and Friable Asbestos detects friable asbestos fibers in material that is rinsed out of the lungs. 

It is important to note that these tests cannot determine how much friable asbestos an individual may have been exposed to or whether disease will develop (12). Friable asbestos fibers can also be detected in urine, mucus, or feces, Friable Asbestos but these tests are not reliable for determining how much friable asbestos may be in an individual’s lungs (2). 

How can workers protect themselves from friable asbestos exposure? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a component of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and is the Federal agency responsible for health and safety regulations in maritime, construction, manufacturing, and Friable Asbestos service workplaces. 

OSHA established regulations dealing with friable asbestos exposure on the job, specifically in construction work, shipyards, and Friable Asbestos general industry, that employers are required to follow. In addition, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), another component of the DOL, enforces regulations related to mine safety. 

Workers should use all protective equipment provided by their employers and follow recommended workplace practices and Friable Asbestos safety procedures. For example, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved respirators that fit properly should be worn by workers when required. 

Workers who are concerned about friable asbestos exposure in the workplace should discuss the situation with other employees, their employee health and safety representative, and their Friable Asbestos employers. If necessary, OSHA can provide more information or make an inspection. 

Regional offices of OSHA are listed in the "United States Government” section of a telephone directory’s blue pages (under "Department of Labor”). Information about Friable Asbestos regional offices can also be found on OSHA’s website. 

More information about Friable Asbestos is available on OSHA’s Friable asbestos page, which has links to information about friable asbestos in the workplace, including what OSHA standards apply, the hazards of friable asbestos, evaluating friable asbestos exposure, and controls used to protect workers. OSHA’s national office can be contacted at: 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is another Federal agency that is concerned with Friable Asbestos exposure in the workplace. 

NIOSH conducts friable asbestos-related research, evaluates work sites for possible health hazards, and makes exposure control recommendations. In addition, NIOSH distributes publications on the health effects of friable asbestos exposure and Friable Asbestos can suggest additional sources of information. NIOSH can be contacted at:

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