Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
Raymond D. Harbison, Ph.D.
Giffe T. Johnson, Ph.D.
Marie M. Bougeois, Ph.D.
Carlton R. Hall, Ph.D.
OSHA, EPA, Respirator
Asbestos sampling and monitoring data, starting from 2003, located in a large federal facility’s Asbestos Air Database Management (AADM) repository will be queried and analyzed on airborne asbestos fiber concentrations generated from abatement activities of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) and asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM). Historically, concerns expressed by personnel outside of the containment areas, whether adjacent to or quite a distance from the asbestos abatement activities present operational challenges for the project manager, potential angst and uneasiness to personnel residing next to the abatement activity as well as programmatic concerns to the building/facility managers. The concerned individuals working outside the abatement enclosure, in an unrelated activity to the abatement often believe there is a high probability for personal exposures of asbestos fibers based on their proximity to the abatement activities. Perceptions regarding containment performance, the uncertainty surrounding the long latency period between asbestos fiber exposure and onset of disease, and the lack of understanding about containment efficacy are just some of the elements that can generate worry. Using statistical analysis tools, such as regression analysis, relationships between one or more predictor variables relative to a response variable were investigated. This research reviewed and compared airborne asbestos fiber sample data relative to the specific activities, whether abatement or other, that were performed. In an effort to establish a holistic awareness to the reader as to why individuals are concerned about being located near asbestos abatement activities, the history of asbestos regulation and epidemiology is also discussed.
The dataset contained 5534 sampling records made up of 3738 area samples (1426 outside containment structure and 2312 inside containment structure) and 1796 personal samples. Analysis identified that 1779 (>99%) out of the 1796 total personal exposure samples in the dataset indicated the asbestos workers were appropriately protected from overexposures. Only seventeen (<1%) of the 1796 total personal exposure samples exceeded the respective Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs):
• Fifteen of the 17 exceeded the 8-hr TWA, 0.1 f/cc OEL. These exceedances were positively correlated with work tasks identifying that no respirators were required due to a Negative Exposure Assessment (NEA).
• Two of the 17 exceeded the Assigned Protection Factor for the Half Face APR (10x the OEL protection) adjusted 8-hr TWA OEL, 1 f/cc.
• There were no OEL exceedances identified for any 30-min Excursion personal sampling events.
The focus for this assessment was to determine the efficacy of the asbestos abatement process and increased health risks to personnel. The findings suggest there is performance variability in the containment structures; however, the abatement process was effective and protective of the non-asbestos personnel outside of the abatement work area. It can also be concluded that the abatement process of containment structures, negative air, work methods (e.g. wet methods) and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have provided a protective environment for both workers and non-asbestos personnel outside of the containment structures.
Scholar Commons Citation
Newfang, Daniel A., "A Historical Assessment of Asbestos Exposure, Abatement Methods and Containment Efficacy During Asbestos Containing Material Removal Activities at a Large Federal Facility" (2017). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.