Evaluating and Controlling Exposure
Determinations of employee exposure shall be made from breathing zone air samples that are representative of the 8-hour TWA and 30-minute short-term exposures of each employee.
Medical surveillance guidance is provided in the following appendices to the OSHA Standards:
- General Industry
- Shipyard Employment
Exposure monitoring samples must be analyzed by Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) for OSHA purposes. PCM methods accurately assess fiber exposure levels, but PCM can not differentiate between asbestos and non-asbestos fibers. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) methods may be used to identify fibers, but may not be used to quantify air concentrations for occupational exposure.
- Chemical Sampling Information. OSHA. Presents, in concise form, data on a large number of chemical substances that may be encountered in industrial hygiene investigations. Basic reference for industrial hygienists engaged in OSHA field activity.
- Occupational Chemical Database. OSHA maintains this chemical database as a convenient reference for the occupational safety and health community. It compiles information from several government agencies and organizations. This database originally was developed by OSHA in cooperation with EPA.
- OSHA reference method; Mandatory (General Industry). OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1001 Appendix A.
- OSHA reference method; Mandatory (Shipyard Employment). OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1915.1001 Appendix A.
- Detailed procedure for asbestos sampling and analysis; Non-mandatory (General Industry). OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1001 Appendix B.
- Detailed procedure for asbestos sampling and analysis; Non-mandatory (Shipyard Employment). OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1915.1001 Appendix B
OSHA has developed and validated methods for use by the Salt Lake Technical Center (SLTC) laboratory. The following method has been adopted by many laboratories for the analysis of chemical compounds. Exposures should be evaluated with standard total dust sampling techniques for comparison to the OSHA permissible exposure limits (PEL).
- Asbestos in Air. Method ID-160, (July 1997).
- Polarized Light Microscopy of Asbestos. Method ID-191, (Revised December 1992). Describes the collection and analysis of asbestos bulk materials by light microscopy techniques including phase-polar illumination and central-stop dispersion microscopy.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2003-154, (2003).
- Asbestos and Other Fibers by PCM (PDF). Method No. 7400, (August 15, 1994). A PCM procedure, equivalent to the OSHA methods.
- Asbestos fibers by TEM (PDF). Method No. 7402, (August 15, 1994). Uses TEM to identify fibers (OSHA will accept this TEM procedure, as it uses PCM to determine exposure).
- Asbestos, Chrysotile by XRD (PDF). Method No. 9000, (August 15, 1994).
- Asbestos (bulk) by PLM (PDF). Method No. 9002, (August 15, 1994).
Bulk sample analysis
Bulk sample analysis should be done by Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM). Bulk analysis results will likely apply to both OSHA and EPA regulations.
- Polarized light microscopy of asbestos; Non-mandatory (General Industry). OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1001 Appendix J.
- Polarized light microscopy of asbestos; Non-mandatory (Shipyard Employment). OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1915.1001 Appendix K.
- Directory of Accredited Laboratories. National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP), (September 22, 2011). Includes online searchable directory. This accreditation is required for analyses being performed in compliance with AHERA regulations.
- Sampling and Analysis of Multi-Layered Materials
- Compliance with OSHA's Asbestos Standard - Composite Bulk Samples. OSHA Letter of Interpretation, (February 7, 1997).
Controlling the exposure to asbestos can be done through engineering controls, administrative actions, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Engineering controls include such things as isolating the source and using ventilation systems. Administrative actions include limiting the workers exposure time and providing showers. Personal protective equipment include wearing the proper respiratory protection and clothing. The following resources contain information to help control asbestos exposures.
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2005-149, (September 2007). Provides a physical description, exposure limits, measurement method, personal protection and sanitation, first aid, respirator recommendations, exposure routes, symptoms, target organs, and cancer sites.
- Occupational Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-123, (January 1981). Contains information on identification, physical and chemical properties, health hazards, exposure limits, exposure sources and control methods, monitoring, personal hygiene, storage, spills and leaks, and personal protective equipment
Precautions to prevent exposure to asbestos in friction products (brakes and clutches).
- Work practices and engineering controls for automotive brake and clutch inspection, disassembly, repair and assembly; Mandatory. OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1001 Appendix F.
- Asbestos-Automotive Brake and Clutch Repair Work (PDF). OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB), (July 26, 2006).
- Concerns About Asbestos Exposure for Mechanics. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Examines exposure opportunities among auto mechanics involved with brake linings, clutch facings, and other friction materials. [References Current Best Practices for Preventing Asbestos Exposure Among Brake and Clutch Repair Workers, (April 2007)].
- Control of Asbestos Exposure During Brake Drum Service. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 89-121, (August 1989). Presents recommendations for engineering controls and work practices to reduce exposure to asbestos during brake maintenance operations.
- Asbestos Exposure During Servicing of Motor Vehicle Brake and Clutch Assemblies. Publication No. 78-127, (August 8, 1975). Offers procedures to control asbestos exposure.
Operations and maintenance (O&M) practices are used to control hazards of asbestos.
- Smoking cessation program information for asbestos; Non-mandatory. OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1001 Appendix I. Includes contact information for organizations that provide smoking cessation information and program material.
- Managing Asbestos In Place, A Building Owner's Guide to Operations and Maintenance Programs for Asbestos-Containing Materials (Green Book) (PDF). Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), (July 1990).
- Asbestos Operations and Maintenance Program Online. Virginia Tech, Environmental, Health and Safety Services. Provides standard work practices and procedures including education and training, occupant awareness, building surveys, inspections and hazards, exposure monitoring, recordkeeping and management.
- Applicability Determination Index (ADI). Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Enables the user to query the database of National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) which includes "regulatory interpretations". Enter keyword "Asbestos".
- Protect Your Family. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Provides EPA guidance for home owners and their families.
*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.
All other documents, that are not PDF materials or formatted for the web, are available as Microsoft Office® formats and videos and are noted accordingly. If additional assistance is needed with reading, reviewing or accessing these documents or any figures and illustrations, please also contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300.
**eBooks - EPUB is the most common format for e-Books. If you use a Sony Reader, a Nook, or an iPad you can download the EPUB file format. If you use a Kindle, you can download the MOBI file format.Back to Top