Author(s): Kakooei H, Hormozy M, Marioryad H
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Occupational exposure to asbestos fiber of brake repair job (auto mechanics) has seldom been evaluated in Iran. Accordingly, we evaluated asbestos fiber concentrations in the breathing zone of auto mechanics between July 2008 and December 2008. The asbestos fiber concentrations of 60 personal air samples collected from 30 cars and trucks brake replacement and they were analyzed by phase-contrast optical microscopy (PCM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) by energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. The geometric means of the personal monitoring fiber concentrations were 0.92 PCM f/ml and 0.46 PCM f/ml respectively in car and passenger heavy truck auto shops. There was a significant differences in the asbestos fiber concentrations between the car and truck auto shops (p=0.006). Based on these findings, auto mechanics who worked with asbestos containing brake may have been exposed to asbestos concentrations approximately 7 times higher than the current occupational safety and health agency (OSHA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 0.1 f/ml. Fiber morphology and energy dispersive X-ray analysis by SEM revealed that amphibole fibers such as tremolite and actinolite existed in the brakes dust and that the vast majority (>30\%) of the airborne chrysotile fibers were greater than 1 μm in diameter. It can be concluded that the imported chrysotile asbestos contains trace amounts of tremolite and actinolite fibers and they are responsible for the high airborne asbestos levels and occupational exposure to amphibole asbestos in auto mechanics job in Iran. Thus, it is to be expected that the auto mechanics will suffer negative health effects due to exposure to the serpentine and amphibole asbestos fibers.
This article was published in Ind Health
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology