Evaluation of workers’ personal exposure to asbestos fibers during the removal activities of vinyl-asbestos flooring

Tullio Poian, Alessandro Brunasso, Carlo Bacchetti, Claudio Beltrame, Marco Fabozzi, Edi Franzil, Elisa Ligorio, Sabina Mahmutovic, Marco Martinig, Rita Mondini, Sandra Paroni, Giancarlo Passon, Giacomo Petronio, Moreno Revignassi, Livio Tomini, Dino Toscani, Ennio Virgili


The purpose of this study is to assess personal exposure to asbestos in workers employed in the removal of vinyl-asbestos flooring. In particular during:
• detachment with hand tools (scrapers, spatulas, etc.) of the vinyl-asbestos tiles;
• removal with mechanical equipment of the layer of mastic containing asbestos remaining on the screed.
The survey was conducted at 10 reclamation sites and 115 personal sampling were performed. The exposure values obtained, grouped by homogeneous type processing, have demonstrated, with the exception of one case, the compliance with the legal limit of 100 ff/l (art.254 Legislative Decree no. 81/08) and that the wet techniques involve exposure values lower than the dry techniques. The confidence intervals for the mean values of exposure in relation to the various techniques and/or phases of the work considered, allows us to exclude, to a reasonable level of significance (p<0,01), that the exposure of the operators might exceed the limit of 20 ff/l during the wet removal of the mastic with grinder/sander and the limit of 100 ff/l during other types of intervention.


Vinyl-asbestos, flooring removal, personal exposure

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