Author(s): Kakooei H, Marioryad H
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Abstract About 2000 tons of chrysotile is used annually to produce friction materials in Islamic Republic of Iran. Approximately, 3000 workers are exposed to the asbestos fibers in the different processes of brake and clutch manufacturing. In the current study, asbestos fiber concentrations during brake and clutch manufacture were measured. This study also evaluated the fiber size and morphology distribution according to the Asbestos International Association (AIA) for standardization analytical method for asbestos. The airborne asbestos fiber concentrations and its chemical composition of 92 personal samples were analyzed by phase contrast microscopy (PCM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray analyzer (EDX). Personal monitoring of fiber levels demonstrated counts that ranged from 0.31 to 1.3 PCM f/ml (15.5-51.5 SEM f/ml). Geometric means of the asbestos concentrations were 1.3 PCM f/ml (51.5 SEM f/ml) and 0.86 PCM f/ml (42.1 SEM f/ml) according to the brake weighting and mixing and clutch mixing process, respectively. The geometrical mean concentrations were 0.63 PCM f/ml (31 SEM f/ml), which is considerably higher than threshold limit value (TLV) of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) which is 0.1f/ml. The SEM data demonstrate that the fibrous particles consisted, approximately, of chrysotile (50\%), tremolite (30\%), and actinolite (20\%). Based on these findings, the 50\% of airborne fibers inhaled by the workers were amphiboles asbestos with fibers equal and greater than 5 microm in length and 0.2 microm in diameter, and thus not included in the PCM-based fiber counts. Therefore, it might be expected that workers who worked in the brake and clutch manufacture will suffer from negative health effects of exposing to the amphibole asbestos fibers. (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Regul Toxicol Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology