Air Sampling Programs: Sources of Asbestos and Mineral Fibers
Read the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) report about the sources of asbestos and mineral fibers to which miners are routinely exposed.
In addition to asbestos mines, asbestos is found as a contaminant mineral in the host rock in non-asbestos mining operations.
Asbestos or fibrous dust is created and released into the ambient air by the breaking, crushing, grinding, drilling, or general abrasive handling of a solid material having fibrous components.
Chrysotile is the type of asbestos most commonly found in commercial products. Amosite and crocidolite are generally considered to be the most toxic.
Fibrous dust particles do not readily settle out of the air, but can remain suspended for long periods of time. As a result, accumulations of fibrous dust can continue to present an inhalation hazard when they are stirred up by vehicular traffic, by persons walking through them, or by the wind.
Asbestos exposure most often occurs from products brought on to the mine property, such as brake linings, asbestos welding blankets, and pipe insulation, or products that are used in building construction, such as transite panels.
Replacement of these items with asbestos-free materials is encouraged, but should be done only by miners trained in asbestos removal and abatement methods.
Courtesy of MSHA
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