1 Snohomish County Training Officers
2 This program was developed by Jim Branstrom, the Public Safety Manager at Snohomish County Airport, Paine Field, EverettWA. The content has been updated and modified to fit the needs of the SnohomishCounty Training Officers D/O B. Ekse I am not a expert in asbestos, however I am an AHERA certified Asbestos Building Inspector and have been teaching and leaning about asbestos for years.
3 This program is assembled to provide an awareness level of training and understanding for the firefighter. It is based on EPA and OSHA information and publications. While the information is considered accurate,itshouldnotbeusedfor making decisions on asbestos abatement and disposal projects. Each asbestos project should be based on the latest rulings and guidelines issued by EPA and OSHA and all local representing agencies.
4 A naturally occuring fibrous mineral A rock currently mined in Canada, Russia and not currently in the United States.
5 Asbestos is naturally present in the atmosphere. It is present in many rock formations.
6 Chrysotile "white asbestos" has fine, flexible, silky fibers with high tensile strength and accounts for over 95 percent of the asbestos used worldwide.
7 Amosite "brown asbestos" is made up of long, brittle, needle like fibers. Amosite bonds well with plastics and is often used in heat insulating materials. Crocidolite "blue asbestos" is the strongest asbestos. It is usually found in conjunction with chrysotile in wrapping, sheeting, piping and boiler wrap. Tremolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite these asbestos forms are seldom seen and rarely found in building or commercial products.
8 To a firefighter, the type of asbestos encountered at a structure fire makes no difference in the level of protection needed. However. Recent studies seem to indicate that the amphibole group (brown and blue asbestos) may present a greater level of health danger than the common chrysotile. These minerals are also used in friction surfaces such as brakes and clutches.
9 Asbestos has been used for many years. The word ASBESTOS is derived from ancient Greek, meaning inextinguishable. It was used as wicks in sacred lamps. It was woven into cloth for robes and tablecloths. It was also used for mummification of the dead.
10 *Asbestos is still mined, processed and used in Canada. With the discovery of large asbestos deposits in Canada in the late 1800s it emerged as an additive to many products.
11 It is a good insulator It holds up well to heat, fireproof under normal fire situations When it was added to other materials, it strengthened them It doesn t rot and is impervious to most chemicals
12 Because of these characteristics, it was applied to boilers and steam pipes. Much of this type of asbestos containing material is almost 100% asbestos with only enough binder material to keep it in place.
13 When added to concrete, the fiber strength of the asbestos reinforced the concrete. Concrete water mains and concrete board in the form of 4 x 8 sheets and shingle siding owed their strength to asbestos fibers. During the 1930s, it was found that it improved almost any material that it was added to. It was sold as, and truly was, the
14 Aswasdiscoveredlater,itwasnotahealthythingto expose people to asbestos fiber. Asbestos use continued long after there was an indication that there was a health problem involved. In the mid 1970s the government begin to curtail the use of asbestos.
15 The lack of awareness or knowledge of the health dangers caused an uncontrolled and unregulated use of asbestos. Workers in the mining, milling, processing and application of asbestos containing products used no respiratory protection.
16 Movie sets such as Bing Crosby White Christmas and the snow scene from The Wizard of Oz as well as many others used a good deal of asbestos fiber. At the time, this must have seemed as the safest solution.
17 Asbestos was woven into curtains, firefighter suits and rescue blankets. Welders gloves and jackets were made of leather and asbestos cloth
18 Airport firefighters used entry suits made of almost 100% asbestos fabric. Fire departments carried rescue blankets of the same material to protect crash victims during cutting operations.
19 Data from this era in our history points to the dangers of asbestos. There is evidence that the health aspects of asbestos were known early in this century. This antidotal information was largely ignored in the United States until the 1970 s. * Claims that the asbestos manufactures knew of the health risks were a central point in the class action asbestos lawsuits that still linger today.
20 Although many bad things have been said about asbestos. Here is a list of the things that are NOT properties of asbestos. Even though it is often referred to as a toxin, it is not a poison, in the classic sense of the definition. It causes no chemical burns or reactions. It emits no fume or gas; it can t be detected on a meter, litmus paper or with a Dragger tube. The particles that pose a health hazard can t be seen with the naked eye. If someone tells you that they can smell, see or sense asbestos in a material or building
21 The same things that make asbestos a good addition to building materials also makes it bad for your health! Othermineralsbreakdowntodust.Asbestosisa fiber that can be continually divided and still remain a fiber. Compare an asbestos fiber to a rope Each strand can be unraveled and still remain a fiber.
22 Asbestos will divide like this down to unseen, microscopic fibers that are 1200 times smaller than a human hair. It is the small unseen fibers, >5 microns in length that present the greatest problem.
23 This is a human hair compared to asbestos fibers.
24 The small fibers that get past the *natural defenses of the body enter the lungs in a spear like form. With proper aim and trajectory, these fibers can penetrate an alveolus in the lung. Now, one of the strengths of asbestos comes into play it doesn t degrade or dissolve.
25 So the body compensates for this foreign substance. Scar tissue surrounds the offending fiber. The scar tissue prevents the exchange of oxygen. (Seeyourhandoutfora real explanation.) This is the start of
26 Asbestosis is a serious, chronic, non cancerous respiratory disease. Asbestosis is the result of many, repeated bombardments of asbestos fibers. *Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath and adry crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling. If the effects of ASBESTOSIS last for more than 4 hours contact your physician. Side effects are death, dying, kicking the can, buying the farm and checking out.
27 Mesothelioma is unlike asbestosis in the exposure requirements for the disease to develop. While there is a somewhat direct correlation between regular high level exposure to asbestos and asbestosis. Mesothelioma occurs more often among people withregularexposure. Howeveritisalsofound among people with little known exposure. Mesothelioma results from a fiber somehow passing from the lungs to the pleura.
28 It s a little like winning the Lotto. If you buy a lot of tickets, your odds increase. However, people have been known to win with a single ticket. Actor Steve McQueen died of a mesothelioma. He had no history of working in the asbestos industry.
29 The younger people are when they inhale asbestos, the more likely they are to develop mesothelioma. This is why the enormous efforts are being made to prevent school children from being exposed.
30 Asbestos related diseases have a Latency Period of up to 30 years. If a person is diagnosed with an asbestos related problem today, the exposure occurred many years prior. Even a heavy exposure today would not be detected in a physical exam tomorrow. Just because you feel well following such an exposure doesn t mean that you haven t incurred some damage.
31 Because it can take 30 years for the disease to show up doesn t indicate that you should just send old people into the asbestos environment.
32 If you like living on the edge, mix smoking and asbestos exposure. A smoker has a 10x s greater chance of lung cancer than a non smoker. Combined smoker/asbestos exposure increases it to as much as 90x s.
34 Only a very small percentage of ceiling tile contains asbestos. This uses a wood product fiber and occasionally a little asbestos was added to reinforce the face. Boilers, boiler tanks and other insulated tank units. Friable Friable
35 Piping for hot water and steam heating and power units. Friable Friable This is AirCell It looks like cardboard but is almost 100% asbestos.
36 This is a tank being repaired. Notice how the asbestos is installedin tile like blocks. This material has a very high asbestos content.
37 Asbestos/Concrete siding known as CAB (concrete asbestos board) or Transite. Generally Non Friable Manufactured in shingle, shake and 4 x 8 sheets. Was sometimes used as an imitation slate roofing.
38 Asbestos can be handled in four ways: Abatement removal Enclosing Encapsulating Repair and maintaining The objective of asbestos management is to reduce asbestos fiber release.
39 Abatement removal This is the most expensive option. Generally involves full enclosure of an area of the building, intensive labor and waste disposal.
40 Sometimes removal is the only option. This ceiling in a High School gym shows evidence of being hit regularly with a basketball.
41 Enclosing Encapsulating This involves covering over the ACM or sealing it with a heavy based latex paint or other product. Air from this heat vent caused a continued release of fiber. A coat of encapsulating paint will reduce the problem.
42 Repair and maintaining. This would mean patching any damage and monitoring to prevent future damage and fiber release.
43 A firefighter entering a building during or after a fire can not count on the Friable/Non Friable conditions of the materials involved.
44 Consider this Vinyl/Asbestos floor tile subjected to fire. The vinyl burns away leaving only the loose asbestos fiber. Concrete Asbestos Board CAB or Transite subjected to flame. The concrete spalls away leaving asbestos fiber.
45 Almost any material subjected to intense heat will burn away except for the asbestos To the firefighter, this means that you are working in a friable asbestos atmosphere.
46 The hazardous and toxic atmosphere created by the fire often dissipates rather quickly. The hazardous atmosphere created by the release of asbestos fiber does not. The fibers that have the greatest potential for respiratory damage can t be seen. These fibers can remain airborne for hours. The SCBA worn by the firefighter will protect from this exposure.
47 The HEPA half mask (magenta cartridge) will stop 99% the asbestos from getting in your lungs. Ifthemaskistoberemoved, decon the facepiece area before removal. When changing bottles, decon any possible debris from the connection area. You can buy the half mask for $25 to $30 at Lowes/ Home Depot and it will protect you when working off duty!
48 Respiratory protection, SCBAs, must also be used during the fire investigation period if the damaged area is suspected to have asbestos contamination. Once you suspect that an area is contaminated, it is not easy to change that suspicion. There is no acceptable reason to allow an unmasked person, Fire Investigator, Fire Marshal or Chief, into a suspected contaminated area.
49 Wet down any debris being moved during overhaul and investigation. vehicle. Wash off firefighting gear at the fire scene. On return to station, bag turnouts for appropriate laundry. Do not transport clothing or equipment in personal vehicle.
50 First, DoNoHarm Do not unnecessarily track or move asbestos fiber into uncontaminated areas. If you have exposed a large amount of asbestos, tape off the area to warn others. Second, Inform the Owner You can t control what the owner will do with his asbestos problem. Don t leave the owner with the excuse, I didn t know there was a problem.
51 Larger scale asbestos removal projects are done in CONTAINMENT.
52 CONTAINMENT is lining the room with two layers of plastic and has these elements: The seams are lapped and taped together. Negative Air machines are set up to lower the air pressure in the containment. A doubleair lock door system with a shower facility is set up at the entry to the containment. Workers in containment are in respirators and Tyvek type suits. They must strip and shower before exiting.
53 The Uniform Fire Code makes certain requirements of the fire department. UFC Section 8707 requires the Chief to be notified 24 hours prior to a removal project. Section 8707 requires flame resistant plastic film and proper signs. Other Code sections allow the department to require proper exiting and maintenance of fire protection systems.
54 Asbestos abatement projects that require a containment should be inspected for: Exiting Covered sprinkler heads Fire extinguishers Containment material Warning signs Plans for the replacement of any fire proofing materials removed.
55 Exits in containment are generally limited to one. Ifthetraveldistancetotheexitcouldbetoogreat.>200 feet in an unsprinklered building, Alternative exiting may be required. Some departments have allowed the marking of a second exit in the plastic film that can be cut open in the event of a fire.
56 Inspectors must require that the sprinkler heads are not covered by the plastic containment. If your department normally allows the use of light weight plastic or paper bags over sprinkler heads in areas like spray booths, you could allow their use here. Ample fire extinguishers should be required in containment.
57 If spray on asbestos fire proofing is being removed, check plans of the replacement. U.B.C Table 7 B. The size and use of the building probably required the fireratingachievedbythe asbestos. U.B.C. Table 5 B. Example: A B occupancy built as a type II Fire Rated has a basic allowable size of 12 stories of 39,900 sq. ft. each. Remove the fire proofing and the basic allowable is 2 stories of 12,000 sq. ft. each.
58 A Fire Call to a building where asbestos is being removed can add a new dimension. Exits can be compromised by the containment. Thenegativeairmachinesaredrawingairtowardsthe containment. Inside the containment the air is contaminated with asbestos fiber.
59 AnEMScallforaworkerin containment mustbe handled as a Haz Mat call by the medics. Entry into the containment requires full protective gear. The victim and all medics and equipment must be decontaminated prior to loading and transport.
60 Has the production of asbestos ceased? Has the use of all asbestos been banned? ANSWER: