Airborne Concentrations of Asbestos in 71 School Buildings.

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A total of 473 air samples from 71 schools scheduled for abatement (328 indoor static samples, 51 personal samples, and 94 outdoor samples) were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy techniques. Six measures of asbestos-in-air concentration were considered: (1) total asbestos structures per cubic centimeter: (2) chrysotile structures per cubic centimeter; (3) amphibole structures per cubic centimeter; (4) structures per cubic centimeter at least 0.5 micron long and at least five times wide; (5) structures per cubic centimeter at least 5 microns long; and (6) structures per cubic centimeter at least 5 microns long and at least 0.2 micron wide. The average concentration of chrysotile structures in indoor air samples was 0.017 structures/cm3; the average concentration of amphibole structures was 0.0015 structure/cm3. Ninety-five percent of structures found were chrysotile. The average concentrations of all structures were significantly higher indoors than outdoors (P less than 0.001). The average concentration of structures more than 5 microns long indoors was 0.00023 structure/cm3. None of the following factors were significantly correlated with asbestos concentrations in air: type of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) present, condition of ACM, accessibility of ACM to students, whether ACM were covered, air flow, or whether sweeping was noted during sample collection. In addition, asbestos-in-air concentrations were not significantly different in different types of schools (high, intermediate or elementary) or in schools constructed in different time periods. Lastly, there was no correlation between the mineral type of asbestos found in the air and the type found in samples of bulk material. [Authors' abstract]
Corn, M.; Crump, K.; Farrar, D.B.; Lee, R.J.; McFee, D.R.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology
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