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Fibre Emission While Handling Fibrocement and Friction Products

Abstract

There is a general questioning in the world regarding the effect of microfibres that can potentially be released from cutting large quantities of friction products and nonfriable building materials. Convention 162 of the International Labour Organization - Safety in the use of asbestos - warned, from the very start of the 1980’s, employers, workers and governments of the importance to protect the workers by the use of adequate respiratory protection equipment and by the use of suitable tools. With the appearance, during the last decades, of a great number of fibrous materials on construction, repair, restoration and demolition sites, there is an increase in questioning and the lack of scientific data on this issue is deplored.

The first objective of this study is to evaluate the airborne fibre emissions rates for various fibrocement and friction products to compare the safety of the various techniques of cutting for each of them. The tools used in the laboratory are among those that are generally found on building sites. This research also aims at carrying out a comparison between products containing chrysotile and equivalent products made from other industrial fibres, to evaluate which were most likely to release respirable fibres beyond the recommended threshold limit value. [ ... ]

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