The role of Amyant in the asbestos exposure assessment in the chemical sector
Although created by two technicians affiliated to INAIL, the data-base Amyant/DatAmiant cannot be considered an
official document of this Institution. INAIL in fact never claimed the ownership of the document, nor reported (or
simply cited) it in its Journals (Rivista degli Infortuni e delle Malattie Professionali, chapter Prevenzione e Sicurezza)
or any other official report. The data base is largely utilized in the evaluation process of the requests of people asking
for the application of normative benefits, nevertheless its content cannot be considered a reliable basis for the development
of the clinical decisional process, which needs accurate and rigorous background, especially in the case of
multi-factorial disorders such as pulmonary and laryngeal cancer, among others. The main weakpoint in Amyant is
represented by the acritical reference to data generated in Germany (Berufsgenossenschaften), which are much
higher than those actually occurring in a given occupational or non occupational context. These data are in fact generated
in the â€œworst scenario perspectiveâ€ and cannot therefore be applied to standard situations. Another concern is
related to the way in which data referred to the chemical branch, whose activities are not explicitely reported. This
means that the evaluation of the risk of the exposure to asbestos often requires the identification of a task as similar
as possible to the target one. This process may lead to different and often misleading outcomes. The procedures are
in fact complex, and often requires a subjective evaluation. The environmental and occupational setting must be
taken into account, and the reliability of the data must be accurately checked (by means of bibliographic search).
Data generated by Berufsgenossenschaften must be â€œa prioriâ€ discarded, for the above-exposed reasons; unrelated
occupational activities cannot be considered: first of all, for the examined branch, those in which asbestos itself, or
asbestos-containing material, are the core of the task (e.g. asbestos clearance, asbestos extraction, production or processing-
as main occupational activity- of asbestos containing material); second, other occupational branches unrelated
to chemistry such as construction industry, boatyards, Enel power plants, glassmakers, cannot be considered
unless in selected instances, in the case of their explicit indication. On the basis of the above reported exclusion criteria,
the tasks reported in specific chapters or paragraphs of DatAmiant which may be of interest for workers involved
in routinary tasks in the Chemical branch, are reported.
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Mc Kinnery, W.N., Moore, R.W., 1992. Evaluation of airborne asbestos fiber levels during removal and installation of valve gaskets and packing. Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J., 53, 531 - 532.
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Verdel, U., Iotti, A., Castellet Y BallarÃ , G., 1997. Mappa storica dellâ€™esposizione allâ€™amianto nellâ€™industria italiana. Riv. Inf. Mal. Prof., 3, 343 - 365.
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