Chrysotile Asbestos in Urban Air


THE industrial use of chrysotile asbestos is increasing and the question of whether its concentration in urban air constitutes a hazard has been raised. But measurements of asbestos in air near asbestos factories have proved negative with present analytical methods, so under the sponsorship of the Asbestosis Research Council we are developing a more sensitive technique. This article is a preliminary account of the estimation of chrysotile near a large asbestos textile factory at Rochdale, Lancashire. There are several uncertainties in the technique, so we were expecting to obtain only an order of magnitude estimate. Nevertheless this would have been an important figure to have because of the lack of data on the amount of asbestos in air. As it happened, we were only able to determine an upper limit for the chrysotile concentration which turned out to be three orders of magnitude lower than the threshold value for occupational exposure set by asbestos regulations. Obviously even more sensitive techniques are required and are now being developed.

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  1. 1

    Crable, J. V., Amer. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J., 27, 293 (1966).

  2. 2

    Standards for Asbestos Dust Concentration for Use with the Asbestos Regulations 1969, Technical Data Note 13 (HM Factory Inspectorate, 1969).

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RICKARDS, A., BADAMI, D. Chrysotile Asbestos in Urban Air. Nature 234, 93–94 (1971).

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