Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-84-321-1590, asbestos shingle tear-off, Rockford, Illinois.
Breathing zone samples were analyzed for asbestos (1332214) during removal of an old asbestos shingle roof (SIC-1761) from a residential building, Rockford, Illinois in May, 1984. The evaluation was requested to assess asbestos exposures during removal operations. Airborne asbestos fiber concentrations ranged from 0.04 to 0.16 fiber per cubic centimeter (cc) for five tear off workers, fiber/cc for five workers applying new shingles. The OSHA standard for asbestos is 2.0 fiber/cc. A bulk sample of the asbestos shingle was analyzed and found to contain 30 percent chrysotile (12001295). NIOSH certified half/face respirators with high efficiency particulate filters were worn by all members of the tear off and cleanup crews. The author concludes that since the NIOSH criteria for asbestos exposure is the lowest feasible concentration, a hazard from airborne asbestos fibers existed during the roof removal operation. Recommendations include wetting the roof before beginning removal, evacuating the building occupants if feasible, sealing off all doors, windows, and other openings, removing all work clothes before leaving the site, and laundering them separately.