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  • Asbestos Exposure Level

  • Asbestos Exposure Level


    NIOSH considers asbestos to be a potential occupational carcinogen and recommends that exposures be reduced to the lowest feasible concentration. For asbestos fibers >5 micrometers in length, NIOSH recommends a REL of 100,000 fibers per cubic meter of air (100,000 fibers/m3), which is equal to 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air (0.1 fiber/cm3), as determined by a 400-liter air sample collected over 100 minutes in accordance with NIOSH Analytical Method #7400. Airborne asbestos fibers are defined as those particles having (1) an aspect ratio of 3 to 1 or greater and (2) the mineralogic characteristics (that is, the crystal structure and elemental composition) of the asbestos minerals and their nonasbestiform analogs. The asbestos minerals are defined as chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite (cummingtonite-grunerite), anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite. In addition, airborne cleavage fragments from the nonasbestiform habits of the serpentine minerals antigorite and lizardite, and the amphibole minerals contained in the series cummingtonite-grunerite, tremolite-ferroactinolite, and glaucophane-riebeckite should also be counted as fibers provided they meet the criteria for a fiber when viewed microscopically.

    As found in 29 CFR 1910.1001, the OSHA PEL for asbestos fibers (i.e., actinolite asbestos, amosite, anthophyllite asbestos, chrysotile, crocidolite, and tremolite asbestos) is an 8-hour TWA airborne concentration of 0.1 fiber (longer than 5 micrometers and having a length-to-diameter ratio of at least 3 to 1) per cubic centimeter of air (0.1 fiber/cm3), as determined by the membrane filter method at approximately 400X magnification with phase contrast illumination. No worker should be exposed in excess of 1 fiber/cm3 (excursion limit)as averaged over a sampling period of 30 minutes.

    This information came from an
    NIOSH online article.

    *** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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