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close this bookAsbestos Overview and Handling Recommendations (GTZ, 1996)
close this folderPart VII Annexes
View the documentAnnex 1: Maps on the deposits of Asbestos, Asbestos consumption and commercial trade of raw Asbestos
View the documentAnnex 2: Health and safety data sheet for Asbestos cement in UK
View the documentAnnex 3: Asbestos fiber emissions from particular processes
View the documentAnnex 4: US Federal Regulations for Asbestos
View the documentAnnex 5: Commercial names of Asbestos containing products
View the documentAnnex 6: Advantages and disadvantages of Asbestos abatement methods
View the documentAnnex 7: Asbestos data from the environmental handbook Vol. III: Compendium of environmental standards
View the documentAnnex 8: Questionnaire on country profiles regarding Asbestos

Annex 7: Asbestos data from the environmental handbook Vol. III: Compendium of environmental standards

ASBESTOS

DESIGNATIONS

CAS No.:

1332-21-4

Registry name:

Asbestos

Chemical name:

Asbestos

Synonyms, Trade names:

Serpentine Asbestos, amphibole Asbestos, fibre Asbestos, blue Asbestos

Chemical name (German):

Asbest

Chemical name (French):

Amiante

Appearance:

fibrous, impure minerals whose colour varies between pure white and green, brown or grey depending on the iron-oxide content; crocidolite is blue (blue Asbestos); the fibres are between 20 and 25 nm long; Asbestos fibres are smooth and greasy to the touch.

BASIC CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL DATA

Asbestos is not a chemical element, but rather an umbrella term for two groups of minera (serpentine and amphibole Asbestos)


Serpentine

Amphibole


Chrysotile

Crocidolite

Amosite

Anthophyllite

Tremolite

Actinolite

Empirical

Mg3

Na2Fe2(Fe,Mg)3

(Fe,Mg)7

Mg7

Ca2Mg5

Ca2(Mg,Fe)5

formula:

Si2O5(OH)4

Si8O22 (OH)2

Si8O22(OH)2

Si8O22(OH)2

Si8O22(OH)2

Si8O22(OH)2

Rel







molecul.

277.13g

1,008.82g

1,171.83 g

780.88 g

812.42 g

1,091.67 g

Density:

2.2-2.6 g/cm³

2.8-3.6 g/cm³

2.9-3.3 g/cm³

2.8-3.2 g/cm³

2.9-3.2 g/cm³

3.0-3.21 g/cm³

Melting point:

1,500°C

1,200°C

1,400°C

1,450°C

1,31 5°C

1,400°C

Flash point Asbestos is non-combustible, resistant to heat and features a lo conductivity in water: insoluble

ORIGIN AND USE

Usage:
Because of its heat-resistance and suppleness and its capacity for being incorporated into inorganic and organic binders, Asbestos is used in industry for thermal insulation, fireproofing and sealing in addition to acting as a filler in the production of countless composites (more than 3000). Economic exploitation is centred on chrysotile Asbestos from the serpentine group (95 %). 5 % of amphibole Asbestos is used for Asbestos-fibre production.

Spun Asbestos is used for fireproof, chemical-resistant clothing. When mixed with cement, Asbestos is cast to form panels and pipes (70 - 90 % of the world production is used in the construction industry in Western Europe; ace. WHO, 1987). Asbestos has also been used as a filter material in the drinks and pharmaceutical industry and for the manufacture of brake and clutch linings for motor vehicles.

Origin/derivation:
Asbestos is extremely widespread in nature. The most important deposits are to be found in the former Soviet Union, Canada and South Africa. Natural emissions are produced for example by the weathering of serpentine rocks.

Production figures:
Worldwide production in 1983 was in excess of 4 million tons (WHO, 1987). The main producers are as follows (WHO, 1986):

USSR

1983:

2,250,000 t/a

Canada

1983:

820,000 t/a

South Africa

1983:

221,111 t/a

Brazil

1983:

158,855 t/a

Zimbabwe

1983:

153,221 t/a

Italy

1983:

139,054 t/a

China

1983:

110,000 t/a

TOXICITY

Humans:

TCLo 2.8 fibres/cm³/5 years

acc.UBA, 1986


TCLo 1.2 fibres/cm³/19 years without interruption

ace. UBA, 1986

Mammals:



Rat

TDLo 100 mg/kg, intrapleural

ace. UBA, 1986

As yet there are no known characteristic toxicology data (DVGW, 1988).

CHARACTERISTIC EFFECTS:

HUMANS/MAMMALS:

Various Asbestos-induced illnesses are known from the industrial medicine sector in which the size of the fibres plays a crucial role. Generally speaking, fibres with a diameter of less than 2 ym and a length of more than 5 ym are considered to be hazardous to health (diameter: length = 1: 3). Such a fibre size is capable of entering the lungs, gathering there and becoming encapsulated. Fibres have also been found to have a certain migration capability in the organism and the cell metabolism. Accumulation in the lungs causes sclerosis of the pulmonary alveoli and thus impairs the oxygen exchange. The inhalation of large quantities of fibre can cause asbes otosis which increases the risk of bronchial cancer. In particular, dusts < 200 ym are highly toxic and suspected of being a direct cause of tumours. Exposure to Asbestos irritates the eyes and the respiratory tract. Direct penetration into damaged skin produces excessive horrification. Fibres in the lungs bring about chronic bronchitis, irritation of the pleura and pleurisy. l:)istension of the lungs can result in lung cancer. Workplace exposure may produce periods of latency in the gastro-intestinal tract lasting up to 40 years.

ENVIRONMENTAL BEHAVIOUR

Water:
Asbestos fibres cause water to become turbid, but are not soluble in water.

Air:
The dwell time in the atmosphere is dependent on the fibre size. Asbestos fibres can be transported over hundreds of kilometres in the atmosphere. Weathering produces short and thin Asbestos fibres from the coarse dust.

Soil:
If Asbestos fibres get into the soil, they accumulate on the surface and may be scattered again at any time. Particles in excess of 2 ym are not washed into the soil pores. In the soil itself and in sediments, Asbestos is considered to be harmless (DVGW, 1988). Asbestos dusts in refuse or on dumps must be covered or moistened during transportation to stop them ingressing into the air. Soils and sediments in general are considered as accumulation sites.

Half-life:
The half-life of fibres on mucous membranes is a matter of minutes - hours or days years after penetration into the tissue (HORN, 1989).

Food chain:
Asbestos fibres penetrate into organisms via drinking water. The pollution of drinking water is caused by fibres in Asbestos-cement pipes. The impact is a function of the calcium-carbonate saturation of the water and depends on the number of iron-oxide deposits in the pipes. There is as yet no proof of oral Asbestos intake causing cancer.

ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS

Medium/ acceptor

Sector

Country/ organ.

Status

Value

Cat.

Remarks

Source

Air:

Workp

A

L

250,000f/m³


chrysotile [1991]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

B

L

150,000 f/m³


crocidolite [1987]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

B

L

1,000,000 f/m³


other Asbestos [1987]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

CH

L

1,000,000 f/m³


dusts [1988]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

DK

L

300,000 f/m³


crocidolite, celling value (15min) [1988]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

DK

L

300,000 f/m³


other Asbestos [1988]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

F

L

500,000 f/m³


crocidolite [1987]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

F

L

1,000,000 f/m³


other Asbestos [1987]

ace. Albracht, 1991


Workp

D

L

250,000 f/m³

TRK

chrysotile [1990]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

D

G

50,000 f/m³

TRK

crocidolite, remediation [1990]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

GB

L

200,000 f/m³


crocidolite, 4h [1984]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

GB

L

500,000f/m³


other Asbestos, 4h, [1984]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

DDR

L

1,000,000flm³


dusts [1983]

acc, Albracht, 1991


Workp

DDR

L

2,000,000 f/m³


short time value(30 min) [1983]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

GR

L

500,000 f/m³


crocidolite [1988]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

GR

L

1,000,000 f/m³


other Asbestos [1988]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

IRL

L

500,000 f/m³


crocidolite [1989]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

IRL

L

1,000,000 f/m³


other Asbestos [1989]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

NL

L

200,000 f/m³


crocidolite, ceiling valu (10 min) 11989]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

N L

L

2,000,000 f/m³


Other Asbestos, 4h 119891

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

S

L

200,000 f/m³


Asbestos (except chrysotile) 119871

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

USA

L

200,000f/m³


Asbestosl1986]

acc. Albracht, 1991


Workp

USA

G

200,000 f/m³


amosite

AMIH, 1988


Workp

USA

G

500,000 f/m³


crocidolite

ACGIH, 1988


Workp

USA

G

2,000,000 f/m³


chrydile,other Asbestos

ACGIH, 1988


Air

F

(L)

0.1 mg/m³


Emission (dust)

acc.MEEKetal, 1985


Air

D

L

0.1 mg/m³


TA-L fine dust, mass flow 2 0.5g/h

acc.DVGW, 1988


Air

DDR

L

0.005 mg/m³

MlKk


ace. HORN, 1989

Foodstiff:

Drinkw

USA

L

7,100,000 UI


Average and long fibre

acc.wGW, 1988

Note:
There is virtually a complete ban in Denmark on materials containing Asbestos for production, import and utilization. Norway, Sweden and Holland control the Asbestos content of insulating materials and consumer goods in supplementary legislation.

COMPARISON/REFERENCE VALUES

Medium/origin

Country

Value

Source

Surface water:




Northem Lake Constance (1981 )

D

< 5 fibres/l x 103

acc. DVGW, 1988

Southern Lake Constance (1981 )

D

10-20 fibres/l x 103

acc. DVGW, 1988

FranconianForest(1981)

D

10-50 fibres/l x103

acc. DVGW, 1988

Bavarian Forest (1981 )

D

< 5-30 fibres/l x 103

acc. DVGW, 1988

Groundwater:




Northern Germany (1981 )

D

4-100 fibres/l x 103

acc. DVGW, 1988

Franconian Forest (1981 )

D

< 5-60 fibres/l x 103

acc. DVGW, 1988

Drinking water:




10 utility companies (1981)

D

5-1000 fibres/l x 103

acc. DVGW, 1988

Montreal(1971)

CDN

2,000-9,500 fibres/l x 103

acc. DVGW, 1988

Toronto (1974)

C D N

700-4,100 fibres/l x 103

acc. DVGW, 1988

Duluth(1974)

USA

20,000-75,000 fibres/l x 103

acc. DVGW, 1988

Chicago(1977)

USA

80-2,300 fibres/l x 103

acc. DVGW, 1988

ASSESSMENT/COMMENTS

Asbestos fibres are released into the environment by natural and anthropogenic processes. The liberation of Asbestos during the manufacture and processing of materials containing Asbestos must be significantly reduced especially in confined areas and at workplaces because of the great hazard to the respiratory organs and in particular the lungs. There is increasing speculation that the oral intake of Asbestos can cause tumours. Therefore, there is no justification for the further use of Asbestos cement in drinking water pipes. Numerous products containing substitute materials are now making it possible to dispense with the use of substances containing Asbestos.