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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Posted on behalf of Elleen Hsu

Ms. Elleen Hsu recently presented a poster entitled “Insulation Usage and Asbestos Exposures: Historical Trends and Exposure Assessment” at the 2017 International Society of Exposure Science Meeting held in Durham, North Carolina. The purpose of this research was to identify factors that impacted the trends of historical airborne asbestos concentrations from insulation products and to model how these factors would affect human exposures. The authors found that airborne fiber concentrations measured during insulation work in shipyards were 3.5 to 15.5 times higher than concentrations measured for similar tasks in non-shipyard settings. The authors also modeled asbestos exposure estimates for full-shift insulators using task-specific frequencies and concentrations reported in the literature. Using our model, a cumulative occupational exposure for an insulator could be estimated by summing the cumulative exposure for the years of interest. Additionally, our research also found that asbestos concentrations declined over time, likely driven by the passage of the OSH Act and subsequent PEL rulings, as well as advancements in asbestos research and industrial hygiene practices.
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