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Hayward, CA, United States

Sheehan P.,Exponent, Inc. | Mowat F.,Exponent, Inc. | Weidling R.,Exponent, Inc. | Floyd M.,Forensic Analytical Laboratories Inc.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene | Year: 2010

Historically, asbestos-containing roof cements and coatings were widely used for patching and repairing leaks. Although fiber releases from these materials when newly applied have been studied, there are virtually no useful data on airborne asbestos fiber concentrations associated with the repair or removal of weathered roof coatings and cements, as most studies involve complete tear-out of old roofs, rather than only limited removal of the roof coating or cement during a repair job. This study was undertaken to estimate potential chrysotile asbestos fiber exposures specific to these types of roofing products following artificially enhanced weathering. Roof panels coated with plastic roof cement and fibered roof coating were subjected to intense solar radiation and daily simulated precipitation events for 1 year and then scraped to remove the weathered materials to assess chrysotile fiber release and potential worker exposures. Analysis of measured fiber concentrations for hand scraping of the weathered products showed 8-h time-weighted average concentrations that were well below the current Occupational Safety and Health Administration permissible exposure limit for asbestos. There was, however, visibly more dust and a few more fibers collected during the hand scraping of weathered products compared to the cured products previously tested. There was a notable difference between fibers released from weathered and cured roofing products. In weathered samples, a large fraction of chrysotile fibers contained low concentrations of or essentially no magnesium and did not meet the spectral, mineralogical, or morphological definitions of chrysotile asbestos. The extent of magnesium leaching from chrysotile fibers is of interest because several researchers have reported that magnesium-depleted chrysotile fibers are less toxic and produce fewer mesothelial tumors in animal studies than normal chrysotile fibers. © 2010 The Author. Source

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