At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Describe the physical properties of asbestos
- State the historical and present uses of asbestos
- Identify the asbestos exposure risks and understand the health effects
- Recognize the various types of materials containing asbestos
- Identify potential asbestos-containing materials in the workplace
- Define safety measures to prevent exposure
The following key questions are answered in this module:
What is asbestos?
It is a naturally occurring mineral that was once frequently used in construction materials and other products.
What health hazards are associated with asbestos exposure?
Dangerous diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other cancers. Death is possible.
Is all asbestos dangerous?
No. Asbestos is dangerous when it is disturbed, allowing small asbestos fibers to become airborne. These are eventually inhaled by people, and this is what poses a health risk.
What's the best way to avoid health hazards associated with asbestos?
Identify materials containing asbestos, do not disturb them, and have them sealed/contained by experts if necessary (or have the risks otherwise reduced-but don't try to do this yourself).
What are some materials that commonly include asbestos?
Roofing shingles, brake linings, clutch pads, putties, caulks, cements, insulation, ceiling and floor tiles, wall and ceiling textures.
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
Asbestos is used in over 3,000 different products, often as an additive because of its fire and heat resistance, durability, flexibility, and low cost. Some of the more common applications include: roofing shingles, brake linings and clutch pads, putties, corks, and cements, insulation for pipes and boilers, wall and ceiling insulation, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, and wall and ceiling texture in older buildings and homes.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:
- U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) – www.osha.gov
- OSHA Safety & Health Training Topics – www.osha.gov/SLTC/asbestos/
- OSHA Safety and Health Library – www.osha.gov/dte/library/
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – www.epa.gov
- EPA Asbestos facts - http://www2.epa.gov/asbestos
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/asbestos/