Health risk associated with airborne asbestos

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2015 July [Link]

Pawełczyk A, Božek F.


The following paper presents an assessment of health risks associated with air polluted with respirable asbestos fibers in towns of southwest Poland. The aim of the work was to determine whether or not any prevention measures are necessary in order to reduce the level of exposure to the pollutant. The risk assessment was carried out based on the air analyses and the latest asbestos toxicity data published by the Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), USA and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). It was found that in some sites, the concentration of the asbestos fibers exceeded the acceptable levels, which should be a reason of special concern. The highest concentration of asbestos was found in town centers during the rush hours. In three spots, the calculated maximum health risk exceeded 1E-04 which is considered too high according to the adopted standards. So far, it has not yet been possible to find a reasonable method of ensuring the hazard reduction.