ERZSÉBET TÓTH (Eötvös L. University, Budapest): ASBESTOS-RELATED DISEASES AND REGULATIONS

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1 ERZSÉBET TÓTH (Eötvös L. University, Budapest): ASBESTOS-RELATED DISEASES AND REGULATIONS

2 Outline 1. History and legal definition (mineralogy + morphology) 2. The useful properties of asbestos, its success story and (former) applications, presence in our built environment 3. Health effects of asbestos 4. Difficulties in assessing the health risk of asbestos 5. Legislation

3 asbestos (Greek) = inextinguishable amiantos (Greek) = immaculate, pure, unstainable Amiantos village and former asbestos mine, Troodos massive, Cyprus

4 Originally Definition The word asbestos denoted fibrous silicate minerals predominantly chrysotile and amphiboles that were widely used due to their strength, durability, acid- and heat resistance, excellent noise and heat insulation properties, adsorbtion capacity etc. weavable-spinnable, unburnable minerals! 1. Early, prehistoric applications (Hillerdal, 2004): ~4000 BC, Paakila district in Eastern Finland: anthophyllite-reinforced pottery (cooking vessels). By ~1500 BC: anthophyllite pottery widespread in Norway and Northern-Sweden, too. Cooking vessels were hanged by chrysotile threads over the fire. Asbestos from a stoneage village, N-Sweden The application of these potteries ceased in Finland ~2000 years ago, in Sweden in the 5 th century, in Norway in the 6 th century Anthophyllite-pottery, Finnish National Museum, Helsinki.

5 2. In the following centuries: these fibrous silicates become more and more popular and widespread applications got more diverse lamp wicks and burial clothes ~1 st century table cloth (dirt, bread crumbs etc. can be burnt out of the cloth!) and clothing (800, Charlemagne; 1250 Marco Polo) crematory clothing insulation materials brake linings filters (e.g. for wine) friction materials 3. Large, industrial-scale mining and use began at the second half of the 19 th century: Chrysotile: 1878, Quebec, Canada Crocidolite : 1910, South Africa Amosite : 1916, South Africa

6 Asbestos mine, Amiantos, Troodos massive, Cyprus The mine operated between , at the beginning with manual stripping (in the 1930 s workers!), later automated

7 The ore: metamorphosed ophiolite complex, fibrous chrysotile is present in the vein system of harzburgite (fibers may reach 2 cm length)

8 4. Occupational diseases related to the mining, milling, manufacturing and usage of asbestos remained unnoticed for a while due to the long latency period (few decades) 1898, Lucy Dean, factory inspector, UK: asbestos dust is hazardous and is harmful to the respiratory system 1906, Montague Murray: pulmonary fibrosis detected in a textile worker in UK 1930: Merewether & Price: 66 % of those employed for 20 years or more suffered from asbestosis, compared to none of those employed for less than four years, with an average of 25 % for the 363 workers studied. 1955, Richard Doll: increased risk of lung cancer among asbestos workers in Rochdale, UK...

9 5. From the 1970 s, due to the health effects revealed, first in the USA, and then also in Europe and other parts of the world, restrictions were implemented on: the use of asbestos the work exposure of asbestos (fibre concentrations in the air, water) the removal of sprayed asbestos (losely bound forms) => asbestos became a hazardous waste

10 Fate / Present of the asbestos mine at Amiantos, Cyprus: asbestosbearing rock debris is exposed on a big area. To prevent the asbestos contamination of the air, debris should be covered with a new soil layer and new forests will be planted.

11 1. Asbestos definition a. Morphological criteria L [µm] L>3xD L> 5 µm D<3µm L=3xD Asbestos fibre has length (L) > 5 µm diameter (D) < 3 µm L / D > D [µm] Size criteria of an asbestos fibre according to the Directive 83/477/EEC: length (L) as a function of fibre diameter (D)

12 1. Asbestos definition b. Mineralogical criteria According to Directive 80/110/EEC asbestos is fibrous form of the following minerals : Species name Chemical composition Commercial name chrysotile Mg 3 [Si 2 O 5 (OH) 4 ] white asbestos actinolite Ca 2 (Mg,Fe 2+ ) 5 [Si 8 O 22 (OH) 2 ] actinolite asbestos anthophyllite (Mg, Fe 2+ ) 7 [Si 8 O 22 (OH) 2 ] anthophyllite asbestos grünerite (Fe 2+,Mg) 7 [Si 8 O 22 (OH) 2 ] amosite, brown asbestos riebeckite Na 2 Fe 3+ 2 (Fe2+,Mg) 3 [Si 8 O 22 (OH) 2 ] crocidolite, blue asbestos tremolite Ca 2 Mg 5 [Si 8 O 22 (OH) 2 ] tremolite asbestos

13 1. Asbestos definition b. Mineralogical criteria According to Directive 80/110/EEC asbestos is the fibrous form of the following minerals : Species name Chemical composition Commercial name chrysotile Mg 3 [Si 2 O 5 (OH) 4 ] white asbestos actinolite Ca 2 (Mg,Fe 2+ ) 5 [Si 8 O 22 (OH) 2 ] actinolite asbestos anthophyllite (Mg, Fe 2+ ) 7 [Si 8 O 22 (OH) 2 ] anthophyllite asbestos grünerite (Fe 2+,Mg) 7 [Si 8 O 22 (OH) 2 ] amosite, brown asbestos riebeckite Na 2 Fe 3+ 2 (Fe2+,Mg) 3 [Si 8 O 22 (OH) 2 ] crocidolite, blue asbestos tremolite Ca 2 Mg 5 [Si 8 O 22 (OH) 2 ] tremolite asbestos serpentine amphbole Fibrous (=asbestos) chrysotile, USA Fibrous (=asbestos) tremolite, Canada Nonfibrous,massive tremolite, USA Fibrous (=asbestos) grünerite, South Africa AMOSITE: Asbestos Mines of South Africa ( brown asbestos ) Fibrous (=asbestos) riebeckite, Bolivia

14 Amphibole (chain-silicate) structure: AB 2 C 5 T 8 O 22 (OH) 2 Double chains of tetrahedra give the structural basis for fibrous appearance

15 Basic structure of serpentine: Mg 3 Si 2 O 5 (OH) 4 (layer-silicate) Uprolling TO layers (= tubes) make the fibrous appearance possible T O T O octahedral sheet > tetrahedral sheet structure distortion

16 Two basic applications of asbestos are distinguished 1. Sprayed asbestos with low amount of binding material : 80-95% asbestos 2. Asbestos-cement: 5-10% asbestos (amphibole/chrysotile), embedded in cement (chrsytotile-bearing corrugated sheets, tiles and pipes were produced in Hungary until 2005, Nyergesújfalu - tile, Selyp pipe) old brakes (heat insulation) corrugated sheets Sprayed pipe and wall insulations (in Hungary, large amounts were built in buildings between ) water pipes, vent pipes

17 Electric and heat insulation: on an optic demonstration device Lin (Counts) Theta - Scale Serpentine asbestos (minor talc)

18 3. Health effects of asbestos Dust particle (any kind): foreign body in the respiratory system, initiates protective measures, induces inflammation How asbestos fibers enter the human body? Bunches of fibres => disintegration, dust formation => inhalable, swallowable

19 Exposition: being in a dustcontaining atmosphere Exposition period: timespan, during which asbestos may enter the body either via the respiratory or the digestive system Cohort: a group of individuals with similar background characteristics. Cohort study: cohort studies are used in epidemiological studiesto determine the biological effectsrelated to a special activity or agent.

20 Diseases associated with asbestos Pulmonary fibrosis: a lung disease characterised by increaseddeposition of collagen and other proteins in the lung. The fibroblast* is the primary cell type affected. Asbestosis: fibrotic lung disease associated with the inhalation of asbestos. The surface of the alveoli is scarred by the fibers therefore gas exchange of red blood cells is hindered. The ability to expand or to respond the action of the diaphragm is decreased, too. Lung cancer: smoking + asbestos exposure poses increased risk! Malignant mesothelioma: tumor of the mesothelial cells. Mesothelial cells constitute a single layer and build the lining of lungs (pleural mesothelium), digestive organs (peritoneal mesothelium) and the heart (pericardial mesothelium). *Fibroblast: The primary cell of connective tissue, including the lung. Fibroblasts secrete molecular collagen that is polymerised to form connective-tissue fibers.

21 3. Health effects of asbestos contradictory data chrysotile asbestos: dissolves in 1 12 months in the lungs, is breaking across. amphibole asbestos (proved carcinogenity): does not dissolve in the lungs, only cleaves but not breaks across Significance of grain size: alveolar macrophags have a size of 8 12 µm, big grains are only partly sequestered. 5 µm A protective mechanism of human body against foreign grain: separation, ironprotein complex on the surface of the grains. asbestos body : asbestos fibre covered by iron-protein crust, alveolar macrophags

22 How can asbestos be dangerous for us? European Directives: since 1983: the application of blue asbestos is forbidden from 1985: application of all other asbestos type is restricted from 1991: the application of all type of amphibole asbestos is forbidden from 1999: the application of chrysotile asbestos is forbidden (legislation in the member countries had to be implemented by 2005) Hungary: blue asbestos prohibited since 1992 chrysotile prohibited since 2005 Not any more used in construction => only built-in asbestos poses health risk! International signs warning of asbestos

23 How can asbestos be dangerous for us? Allowed asbestos fibre concentration in air: 0.1 fibre / cm 3 (2003/18/EC) 1. Sprayed asbestos, lose => fibres are easily released => Risk! To be removed! => Hazardous waste! Asbestos removal 2. Asbestos-cement: 5-10% asbestos, bound => fibres are not easily released => no real risk => may stay

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