Asbestos Awareness. Revised Jane Blunt

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1 Asbestos Awareness Revised 2014 Jane Blunt

2 Contents The properties of asbestos Its effects on health Its interaction with smoking The types of product and materials likely to contain asbestos The operations that could result in exposure and the importance of prevention Safe working practices how to avoid the risks Emergency procedures

3 The three main minerals Amosite, Crocidolite, Chrysotile, brown asbestos blue asbestos white asbestos

4 Properties of asbestos: A naturally-occurring mineral which is resistant to heat Excellent insulating properties High tensile strength Chrysotile tends to be in long curly fibres that are known as serpentine. It is alkali-resistant and is used in many cement products and textiles. Amosite and crocidolite are long, thin, stiff fibres and are from the amphibole group

5 What is the problem? The lungs have defence mechanisms Large particles are coughed up Small particles that reach the air sacs in the lungs are removed by white blood cells (macrophages) Nasopharyngeal region: air velocity is high, particles of approximate diameters 5-30 mm are deposited Trachea and bronchial region: air velocity is slowing, particles 1-5 mm are deposited Alveolar region: air velocity here is minimal and particles are deposited largely by diffusion. Gases, vapours and particles typically 2 mm diameter or less reach this region. Fortunately a high proportion of sub-micron particles are breathed out before they get the chance to be absorbed.

6 But: Asbestos fibres can penetrate the air sacs Can be too long to be swallowed by the macrophages Can rupture the macrophages

7 Macrophage damage A macrophage kebab. The macrophages are skewered by the asbestos fibre, causing leakage of their contents and inflammation of the surrounding tissue From: "Environmental and Occupational Diseases," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The fibre is not easily removed.

8 Health effects: Inhalation of asbestos fibres is associated with three fatal diseases: Asbestosis a scarring of the lungs (not malignant) Lung, larynx and gastrointestinal cancers Mesothelioma a cancer of the lining around the lungs and stomach** These diseases can take from 15 to 60 years to develop. ** the current figures are almost 2000 deaths a year from mesothelioma, and asbestos-related deaths in total are currently around 3500 per year.

9 Asbestosis Inhaled asbestos fibres can enter your lungs and lodge in the alveoli. They irritate the membrane, leave scar tissue (which oxygen cannot penetrate) and result in a loss of lung elasticity. This condition is called Asbestosis The disease is dose related; being common amongst ex- asbestos workers.

10 Lung cancer Asbestos fibres irritate the lungs, making them sensitive to the risk of lung cancer. Asbestos fibres are also implicated in cancer of the kidney, larynx, gastro-intestinal tract, ovary, testis and brain. The risk of cancer is dose related And.

11 Risks of getting lung cancer Non smoker, not working with asbestos Non smoker, working with asbestos Smoker, not working with asbestos Smoker, working with asbestos

12 Mesothelioma Another area that can be affected is the pleura the membrane lining the lungs. Asbestos fibres can move from the lungs into the pleura and cause a specific cancer called mesothelioma It is almost always caused by asbestos No known safe level of exposure

13 Why are we so concerned? Every week 20 general tradesmen die from asbestos related disease. 6 electricians die from asbestos related disease. 3 plumbers die from asbestos related disease. 6 joiners die from asbestos related disease.

14 Likelihood of developing disease from asbestos exposure depends on: The type of fibre (blue and brown amosites are more dangerous than white serpentine fibres) Your age when you begin to be exposed (the likelihood increases if you are younger) The number of fibres breathed in The number of times exposed Smoking ** ** recall that the risk to a smoker who is exposed to asbestos is greater than the sum of the risks from smoking and from asbestos in isolation.

15 Imports of asbestos and related deaths?

16 Deaths in Great Britain from meosthelioma Mesothelioma data - updated Women Men

17 Typical uses: Asbestos cement sheeting for walls and roofs Asbestos cement products such as tiles, cold water tanks, pipes and gutters, artex Insulating board in wall partitions, fire doors, ceiling tiles, forges etc Yarns and textiles (fire blankets, asbestos string and paper for glassblowing) Lagging Sprayed coatings for insulation and decorative purposes Asbestos-reinforced plastics (floor tiles) Furnace linings

18 When was asbestos banned? Use of sprayed asbestos ceased in 1974 Asbestos-reinforced insulation board phased out from 1980 Importation, use and installation of amosite and crocidolitecontaining materials has been prohibited in the UK since 1986 The use of chrysotile was banned from 1999 So all asbestos-containing materials are now historic, in this country.

19 Asbestos is still mined elsewhere in the world Asbestos mining is still carried out in 21 countries, including Russia Canada Brazil Zimbabwe China South Africa India.. Occasionally products find their way to this country. We need to be vigilant.

20 Some common applications of asbestos Wall with trowelled loose asbestos Damaged asbestos pipe lagging and debris Sprayed coatings could be 80-90% asbestos. Loose coatings and laggings are high risk Damaged asbestos lagging on hot water pipes

21 Boards and tiles Asbestos insulating board (AIB) Suspended AIB ceiling tiles in a corridor Asbestos Insulating board (AIB) may be 20-40% amosite (i.e. amphibole) Perforated AIB ceiling tiles damaged around the light fitting

22 Cements Damaged asbestos cement roof Asbestos cement is approx 10-15% asbestos Asbestos cement downpipe, hopper and profile sheet Asbestos cement roof (weathered exterior)

23 Textiles Asbestos rope used as insulation on a pipe Asbestos glove Asbestos textiles are often chrysotile (serpentine) Asbestos fire blanket

24 Floors and sills Asbestos-containing vinyl floor tiles, possibly 3-5% Etonite windowsill, could be 40% amosite Products such as these only release fibres if treated aggressively, and are therefore low risk

25 Working with asbestos High risk work with asbestos MUST be done by licensed contractors. Unscrewing of an AIB ceiling tile Low risk work of short duration could be done by ourselves. However, there is a further training requirement, and it is our policy NOT to do this work at all. Careful handling of an AIB ceiling tile during removal

26 Surveys To help us: We have access to a database of the asbestos surveys that have been carried out on the buildings. Note that these are not necessarily 100% complete (they would not show materials that were hidden from view) We should always consult this database before commencing work

27 Common locations in the Cavendish

28 More common locations in the Cavendish There was sprayed asbestos in various locations above the false ceilings The over-spray and the residues are present in the walls and ceiling voids For this reason NO-ONE is permitted to lift ceiling tiles, or drill walls without authorisation. There was also asbestos used in the voids beneath the floor. No-one is permitted to access these areas.

29 How to avoid harm The primary cause of asbestos related disease is inhalation. Therefore undisturbed materials are not an immediate risk. Things that could increase that risk are: Drilling holes in them Breaking them or cutting them Knocking into them Sticking things to them and then pulling them off (stickyfixers or blu-tack)

30 Typical air levels would be... fibres/ml Dry removal of lagging up to 100 Drilling asbestos insulating board up to 10 Hand sawing asbestos insulating board up to 10 Sweeping asbestos insulating board debris up to 100 Drilling asbestos cement up to 1 Hand sawing asbestos cement up to 1 Using a circular saw on asbestos cement up to 20 The control limit 0.1

31 Does this mean we cannot do anything at all near asbestos? No. We can work near asbestos, provided we do not disturb it** AND we can also paint it when the existing paint cover is intact, provided the paint is compatible with the previous coat and does not lift it off!! **there are, however, restrictions on activities such as drilling into walls, as mentioned on a previous slide.

32 Our duties: We have a duty of care To ourselves not to knowingly take risks with asbestos To our colleagues especially those who are new to the department or are young To contractors and other visitors, to warn them of the presence of asbestos and tell what not to do.

33 Contractors We give them a leaflet, informing them of the most common locations of asbestos. We approve their work, having used information from the asbestos register and, if necessary, sought help from EM Asbestos team

34 Emergencies What if. Someone accidentally damages some asbestos. 1.Cordon off the area immediately (lock the door if possible) 2.Tell Peter Norman, Keith Matthews and/or Jane Blunt 3.If people have been contaminated with dust or debris then they need to be decontaminated and may need to see Occupational Health for counselling.

35 In summation NEVER carry out work on the fabric of the premises without checking with Keith/Peter/Jane Do not disturb asbestos-containing materials Report any damage or deterioration of asbestos-containing materials Stop and do this immediately if asbestos-containing materials have been inadvertently damaged. If you find a suspicious looking item (e.g. glove, clamp) report it to the Safety Officer immediately, for checking.

36 But in the past... The final scene in the classic 1942 movie Holiday Inn has Bing Crosby and the rest of the cast singing "White Christmas" as snow gently falls around them. The "snow" was really asbestos being scattered from above by stage hands.

37

38 Asbestos Awareness 1. Introduction This presentation contains: The properties of asbestos Its effects on health Its interaction with smoking The types of product and materials likely to contain asbestos The operations that could result in exposure and the importance of prevention Safe working practices how to avoid the risks Emergency procedures 2. Properties of asbestos Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, with many physical forms, of which the three most important are: Amosite, brown asbestos Crocidolite, blue asbestos Chrysotile, white asbestos Asbestos is resistant to heat and not subject to chemical attack. It was valued for its insulating properties and its high tensile strength and was used extensively either as fibres and board, or mixed into other products (such as in vinyl floor tiles). The physical form is long thin fibres and fibre bundles. The fibres, once airborne, can be breathed in, and due to their shape they can be carried deep into the lungs. Nasopharyngeal region: air velocity is high, particles of approximate diameters 5-30 m are deposited Trachea and bronchial region: air velocity is slowing, particles 1-5 m are deposited Alveolar region: air velocity here is minimal and particles are deposited largely by diffusion. Gases, vapours and particles typically 2 m diameter or less reach this region. Fortunately a high proportion of submicron particles are breathed out before they get the chance to be absorbed. Asbestos Awareness February 2008, amended May 2014

39 When things are breathed in we have many defence mechanisms. In the upper regions of the airway there are hairs that line the passages, and mucus is exuded. The hairs waft the particles upwards and they are then coughed, sneezed or blown out. If particles reach the alveolar region, they are attacked by white blood cells (macrophages) which attempt to engulf the foreign particles and dispose of them. Unfortunately, the stiff, javeline-like asbestos fibres can penetrate the air sacs in the alveoli. They can be too long to be swallowed by the macrophages, and can rupture them. 3. The effects of asbestos on health and its interaction with smoking Inhalation of asbestos fibres is associated with three fatal diseases: Asbestosis a scarring of the lungs (not malignant) Lung, larynx and gastrointestinal cancers Mesothelioma a cancer of the lining around the lungs and stomach** These diseases can take from 15 to 60 years to develop. ** the current figures are almost 2000 deaths a year from mesothelioma, and asbestos-related deaths in total are currently around 3500 per year. The likelihood of developing disease as a result of exposure to asbestos depends upon: The type of fibre (blue and brown are more dangerous than white) Your age when you begin to be exposed (the likelihood increases if you are younger) The number of fibres breathed in The number of times exposed Smoking ** ** the risk to a smoker who is exposed to asbestos is greater than the sum of the risks from smoking and from asbestos in isolation. This latter point can be illustrated by some probabilities: Some estimated risks of lung cancer: Non-smoker, not working with asbestos 1 Non-smoker, working with asbestos 5 Smoker, not working with asbestos 10 Smoker, working with asbestos Up to Typical uses of asbestos Some of the common uses of asbestos are: Asbestos cement sheeting for walls and roofs Asbestos cement products such as tiles, cold water tanks, pipes and gutters, artex Insulating board in wall partitions, fire doors, ceiling tiles, forges etc Yarns and textiles (fire blankets, asbestos string and paper for glassblowing) Lagging Sprayed coatings for insulation and decorative purposes Asbestos-reinforced plastics (floor tiles) Furnace linings It became apparent that the use of asbestos was associated with several serious diseases, and gradually the use of asbestos was phased out. The use of sprayed asbestos ceased in 1974 and asbestos-reinforced insulation board was phased out from Asbestos Awareness February 2008, amended May 2014

40 The importation, use and installation of amosite and crocidolite-containing materials has been prohibited in the UK since 1986 and the use of chrysotile was banned from So all asbestoscontaining materials are now historic. The following photographs show typical uses: Laggings and sprayed coatings Sprayed coatings could be 80-90% asbestos and loose coatings and laggings are high risk, Damaged asbestos pipe lagging and debris Damaged asbestos lagging on hot water pipes Wall with trowelled loose asbestos Insulating board: Asbestos insulating board (AIB) This could be 20-40% amosite (amphibole) Perforated AIB ceiling tiles damaged around the light fitting Asbestos Awareness February 2008, amended May 2014

41 Suspended AIB ceiling tiles in a corridor Cement products: Asbestos cement is approximately 10-15% asbestos Asbestos cement downpipe, hopper and profile sheet Damaged asbestos roof Textile products: Asbestos rope used as insulation on a pipe Pipe insulated using both asbestos rope and asbestos lagging Asbestos Awareness February 2008, amended May 2014

42 Asbestos fire blanket Products that contain asbestos, but have to be treated aggressively to release the fibres: Asbestos-containing floor tiles Etonite windowsill While most work with asbestos must be done by licensed contractors, a few low risk tasks can be done by others. However, there is a need for further training, special clothing and cleaning-up procedures, so it is our policy not to do any asbestos work at all. Unscrewing an AIB ceiling tile Careful removal of AIB ceiling tile Asbestos Awareness February 2008, amended May 2014

43 Common sites of asbestos in the Cavendish: Window sill Baton around ceilings Panel above windows Panels in stairwells Asbestos Awareness February 2008, amended May 2014

44 5. The operations that could result in exposure and the importance of prevention The primary cause of asbestos related disease is inhalation. Therefore undisturbed materials are not an immediate risk. Things that could increase that risk are: Drilling holes in them Breaking them or cutting them Knocking into them Sticking things to them and then pulling them off (sticky-fixers or blu-tack) Typical exposures Operation fibres/ml Dry removal of lagging up to 100 Drilling asbestos insulating board up to 10 Hand sawing asbestos insulating board up to 10 Sweeping asbestos insulating board debris up to 100 Drilling asbestos cement up to 1 Hand sawing asbestos cement up to 1 Using a circular saw on asbestos cement up to 20 The control limit 0.1 Notice that some of these exposures are not far above the control limit (= maximum exposure limit) and it is possible with suitable precautions to do certain of these operations without having to call in an asbestos contractor. However, our policy in the Cavendish is not to do this. How to avoid the risks Always check that a material is not asbestos before cutting it or drilling into it. We have an asbestos register (accessible by Keith, Peter and Jane) which can be consulted to give a pretty fair indication of the presence of asbestos, or not. We have a duty of care: To ourselves not to knowingly take risks with asbestos To our colleagues especially those who are new to the department or are young To contractors and other visitors, to warn them of the presence of asbestos and tell what not to do. 6. Emergency procedures What if.? you discover some asbestos that you did not know about? If possible, avoid disturbing it. Whether you can continue the job with it in place or not depends. Contact Peter Norman, Keith Matthews or Jane Blunt for further advice if it is in the way of what you want to do. What if.? Someone accidentally damages some asbestos? Asbestos Awareness February 2008, amended May 2014

45 Cordon off the area immediately (lock the door if possible) Tell Peter Norman, Keith Matthews and/or Jane Blunt If people have been contaminated with dust or debris then they need to be decontaminated and may need to see Occupational Health for counselling. To sum up: Do not carry out work on the fabric of the premises without checking with Keith/Peter/Jane Do not disturb asbestos-containing materials Report any damage or deterioration of asbestos-containing materials Stop and do this immediately if asbestos-containing materials have been inadvertently damaged. Asbestos Awareness February 2008, amended May 2014

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