Airborne asbestos take-home exposures during handling of chrysotile-contaminated clothing following simulated full shift workplace exposures

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2016 Jan-Feb;26(1):48-62. doi: 10.1038/jes.2015.15. Epub 2015 Apr 29.

Abstract

The potential for para-occupational, domestic, or take-home exposures from asbestos-contaminated work clothing has been acknowledged for decades, but historically has not been quantitatively well characterized. A simulation study was performed to measure airborne chrysotile concentrations associated with laundering of contaminated clothing worn during a full shift work day. Work clothing fitted onto mannequins was exposed for 6.5 h to an airborne concentration of 11.4 f/cc (PCME) of chrysotile asbestos, and was subsequently handled and shaken. Mean 5-min and 15-min concentrations during active clothes handling and shake-out were 3.2 f/cc and 2.9 f/cc, respectively (PCME). Mean airborne PCME concentrations decreased by 55% 15 min after clothes handling ceased, and by 85% after 30 min. PCM concentrations during clothes handling were 11-47% greater than PCME concentrations. Consistent with previously published data, daily mean 8-h TWA airborne concentrations for clothes-handling activity were approximately 1.0% of workplace concentrations. Similarly, weekly 40-h TWAs for clothes handling were approximately 0.20% of workplace concentrations. Estimated take-home cumulative exposure estimates for weekly clothes handling over 25-year working durations were below 1 f/cc-year for handling work clothes contaminated in an occupational environment with full shift airborne chrysotile concentrations of up to 9 f/cc (8-h TWA).

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis*
  • Asbestos, Serpentine / analysis*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / analysis*
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*
  • Particulate Matter / analysis*
  • Protective Clothing*

Substances

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Asbestos, Serpentine
  • Particulate Matter