Occupational Risk Research Paper Asbestos is considered as a group of naturally occurring minerals that are used in certain products, like vehicle brakes and building materials, so they can resist heat and corrosion.

Occupational Risk Research Paper

Asbestos is considered as a group of naturally occurring minerals that are used in certain

products, like vehicle brakes and building materials, so they can resist heat and corrosion. When

asbestos is referred to as being “naturally occurring”, it usually refers to asbestos as a mineral

fiber that occurs in soil and rocks, as opposed to asbestos that is found in products or operations.

The six classifications of asbestos includes: (1) actinolite, (2) anthophyllite, (3) amosite, (4)

chrysotile, (5) crocidolite, and (6) tremolite. Amosite and chrysotile asbestos are the most

common classifications.

Any significant exposure to a classification of asbestos will increase a person’s risk of

developing lung cancer, mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of

the chest, lung, abdomen, and heart), and asbestosis (a progressive, long-term, non-cancer

disease of the lungs). Asbestos is mostly found in materials like: (1) exterior wall cladding, (2)

roofing, siding and shingles, (3) fencing, (4) textured paints, and as (5) backing material on floor

tiles and vinyl flooring. Asbestos actually cannot be detected simply by looking at a material. In

fact, the use of a microscope and careful eye examinations are only ways to positively verify any

presence of asbestos. To date, most people who have developed any asbestos related diseases

have been exposed to a large amount of fibers from contact with the material either in their home

or occupation.

Chrysotile is the form of asbestos that has been widely used in commercial applications

the most. Chrysotile is gathered form serpentinite rocks, which are common around the world.

Out of all forms of asbestos, chrysotile is used the most, and it accounts for over 90% of the

asbestos that is found in buildings everywhere. Chrysotile can be spun and woven into fabric,

and is more flexible than amphibole types of asbestos. The most common use for chrysotile

Occupational Risk Research Paper
Chrysotile Asbestos

asbestos has been in corrugated asbestos cement roof sheets that are typically used for garages,

out-buildings, and warehouses.

Most of the products that are made today do not contain asbestos. If repair is needed to

chrysotile found in public households, professionals are called so that the material can start being

covered or sealed. Then, something will be enclosed over or around the material in order to

prevent the release of fibers. The actual removement of the material should be the last option

because it is the most expensive, unless it is required by local or state regulations. Chrysotile

asbestos is calculated in public households by performing inspections, taking samples of

suspected materials, assessing the condition, and giving advice on what corrections are needed.

For occupational settings, most businesses offer combinations of testing, assessments,

and corrections. Even though private households are not usually covered by the same asbestos

regulation that applies to public buildings, schools, and various occupations, professionals

should use the same approved methods. The application of occupational risk assessment involves

the following five steps: (1) identify the threat, (2) determine who could be injured or fall sick,

(3) evaluate the risk and decide on precautions, (4) document the results, and (5) occasionally

assess the occupational risk and verify the information if necessary. Also, occupational risk

assessments can be based on information ranging from weeks to years.

The application of ecological risk assessment is based on characterization of exposure,

and characterization of effects. These two elements are the key to conducting the three phases of

ecological risk assessment, which includes: (1) problem formulation, (2) analysis, and (3) risk

characterization. This risk differs from occupational risks because it doesn’t focus on particular

subjects, and it does not require a re-evaluation of collected data. The application of human

health risk assessment involves processes of estimating the probability and nature of adverse


Occupational Risk Research Paper
Chrysotile Asbestos

health effects in people who may be exposed to chemicals in a contaminated environment, now

or in the future.

The four steps in human health risk assessments are: (1) hazard identifying, (2) dose-

response assessment, (3) exposure assessment, and (4) risk characterization. This risk differs

from occupational and ecological risks because it has a dose-response process that describes how

the severities of the responses are related to the dose provided. An occupational exposure limit is

considered as an upper limit on the recommended concentration of a hazardous substance in

occupational settings for either a particular material, or a class of materials. National authorities

typically set up the limit, while legislation forces to protect occupational health and safety.

Occupational exposure limits are tools in managing activities that involve handling

dangerous substances and in risk assessments (Topping, 2001). Non-occupational exposure

limits are a little harder to identify. Since asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is found

in water and soil, a low level of it is present everywhere. But the research is far more broad with

setting limits for non-occupational settings, because there are far more organisms affected at

different levels (Boffetta, 2004).


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