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Asbestos (all forms)

General Description

Synonyms: Actinolite asbestos; Amosite asbestos; Anthophyllite asbestos; Chrysotile asbestos; Crocidolite asbestos; Tremolite asbestos

OSHA IMIS code: 9020

CAS number: 1332-21-4 (Asbestos); 12172-67-7 (Ferroactinolite asbestos); 17068-78-9 (Anthophyllite asbestos); 12172-73-5 (Amosite asbestos); 12001-29-5 (Chrysotile asbestos); 12001-28-4 (Crocidolite asbestos); 14567-73-8 (Tremolite asbestos)

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method:
  • mixed cellulose ester filter (MCEF) 0.8 microns (open face) 25 mm cassette with 50 mm conductive cowl
  • maximum volume: 2400 L
  • maximum flow rate: 5.0 L/min (Maritime only); 2.5 L/min (General Industry and Construction)
  • minimum flow rate: 0.5 L/min (TWA)
  • minimum volume: 48 L
  • maximum flow rate: 5.0 L/min
  • minimum flow rate: 1.6 L/min (30 min Excursion Limit)
  • current analytical method: phase contrast microscopy; PCM
  • method reference: OSHA ID-160 (fully validated)
  • note: Do not request multiple analytes. Do not overload. If dust is high, reduce air volume to avoid overloading. A minimum of 2 blanks or 10% of the number of samples are required for every set.
Wipe Sampling Method:
  • Do not use Whatman or other paper filters. Bulk preferred.
Bulk Method:
  • bulk samples
  • current analytical method: polarized light microscopy; PLM
  • method reference: OSHA ID-191
  • note: Collect sample in a 20 mL scintillation vial. Do not ship bulk samples with air samples.

Exposure Limits and Health Effects (Updated September 6, 2012)

Standard Set By Exposure Limit Health Effect Codes -- Health Effects and Target Organs
OSHA PEL - General Industry
See 29 CFR 1910.1001
0.1 fiber/cm3 TWA
1.0 fiber/cm3 Excursion Limit (30 minutes)
HE1 -- lung, stomach, and colon cancer; mesothelioma
HE10 -- nonmalignant lung disease (asbestosis) and pleural abnormalities (plaques, thickening)
OSHA PEL - Construction Industry
See 29 CFR 1926.1101
0.1 fiber/cm3 TWA
1.0 fiber/cm3 Excursion Limit (30 minutes)
HE1 -- lung, stomach, and colon cancer; mesothelioma
HE10 -- nonmalignant lung disease (asbestosis) and pleural abnormalities (plaques, thickening)
OSHA PEL - Shipyard Employment
See 29 CFR 1915.1001
0.1 fiber/cm3 TWA
1.0 fiber/cm3 Excursion Limit (30 minutes)
HE1 -- lung, stomach, and colon cancer; mesothelioma
HE10 -- nonmalignant lung disease (asbestosis) and pleural abnormalities (plaques, thickening)
NIOSH REL Lowest feasible concentration
0.1 fiber/cm3 for fibers >5μm
Ca
See Appendix A and Appendix C
HE1 -- lung cancer, mesothelioma
HE10 -- asbestosis
ACGIH TLV® (1994) 0.1 fiber/cm3 (respirable fibers) TWA
A1
HE1 -- lung cancer, mesothelioma
HE10 -- asbestosis
CAL/OSHA PELs 0.1 fiber/cm3 TWA
1 fiber/cm3 STEL
HE1 -- lung cancer, mesothelioma
HE10 -- asbestosis

Carcinogenic classification:

EPA Inhalation Reference Concentration (RfC): Not established

ATSDR Inhalation Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs): Not established

NIOSH IDLH concentration: Not established

Notes on other potential health effects and hazards:

  1. Occupational exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of ovarian and laryngeal cancer (Camargo et al. 2011; Ramroth et al. 2011; Clin et al. 2011; Harding et al. 2009).
  2. Occupational exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of stroke (Harding et al. 2009).

Partial reference list:

  • ACGIH: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs) - Asbestos, All Forms. 2016.
  • Camargo MC, Stayner LT, Straif K, Reina M, Al-Alem U, Demers PA, Landrigan PJ: Occupational exposure to asbestos and ovarian cancer: a meta-analysis. Environ Health Perspect. 119(9):1211-7, September 2011.
  • Clin B, Morlais F, Launoy G, Guizard AV, Dubois B, Bouvier V, Desoubeaux N, Marquignon MF, Raffaelli C, Paris C, Galateau-Salle F, Guittet L, Letourneux M: Cancer incidence within a cohort occupationally exposed to asbestos: a study of dose-response relationships. Occup Environ Med. 68(11):832-6, November 2011.
  • Harding AH, Darnton A, Wegerdt J, McElvenny D: Mortality among British asbestos workers undergoing regular medical examinations (1971-2005). Occup Environ Med. 66(7):487-95, July 2009.
  • NIOSH: Occupational Safety and Health Guideline for Asbestos. 1988.
  • NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety CardsChrysotile. March 22, 1999.
  • NIOSH/CEC/IPCS: International Chemical Safety CardsCrocidolite. November 27, 1998.
  • OSHA: Occupational Exposure to Asbestos. 1994.
  • Ramroth H, Ahrens W, Dietz A, Becher H: Occupational asbestos exposure as a risk factor for laryngeal carcinoma in a population-based case-control study from Germany. Am J Ind Med. 54(7):510-4, July 2011.

Chemical Sampling Information

By Name

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By CAS Number

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