Authors: Ediberto Garcia, Daniel Newfang, Jayme Coyle, Giffe T. Johnson, Raymond D. Harbison
Asbestos containing materials (ACM) have been used for decades in research laboratory products including gloves, tong sleeves, Transite board, and other materials. These materials typically contain chrysotile asbestos with concentrations ranging up to 80%. The objective of this research was to evaluate asbestos exposure from gloves, tong sleeves, and Transite board with simulated laboratory use. An environmental chamber was used to simulate laboratory application of the products. Bulk samples of various products were tested before and after use. Personal breathing zone air samples as well as one cumulative air sample were collected during testing and followed the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) 7400/7402 methodologies. Phase contrast microscopy (PCM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used for sample analyses. Analysis of air samples using PCM, showed airborne fiber concentrations as high as 0.058 f/cc during use of tongs fitted with asbestos sleeves. Further analysis using TEM showed that the highest airborne fiber concentration was 0.0036 f/cc. Manipulation of Transite board resulted in 8-hour time-weighted-average (TWA) asbestos levels as high as 0.02 f/cc. Testing of various asbestos containing materials used in research laboratories indicate low potential for asbestos fiber exposures.
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