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Technical assistance report no. TA-79-11, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and Suitland, Maryland.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, TA 79-11, 1979 Apr; :1-10
General air samples were taken at the Smithsonian Institution (SIC- 8411) of Washington, D.C., and at Suitland, Maryland on January 24 and 25, 1979, to determine if employees were exposed to fibers from asbestos (1332214) walls and ceilings at the Museum of Natural History, History and Technology Building, Fine Arts Building, and the Portrait Gallery. The evaluation request came from the institution to evaluate the effectiveness of control efforts that were instituted following a previous evaluation. Sampling equipment was placed at various sites throughout the buildings and phase contrast microscopy was used to analyze the samples. Rainfall provided a disturbed condition. All 20 samples taken were below the analytical limit of detection (0.01 fibers per cubic centimeter), and below the OSHA standard of 2 fibers per cubic centimeter for an 8 hour time weighted average. Although the insulation material contained up to 75 percent asbestos, masonite panel covers were effective in controlling airborne asbestos fibers. The author's general recommendations include regular vacuuming, sampling when environmental conditions change, and using sealants. Special recommendations for the Fine Arts Building include air sampling in the attic during maintenance procedures, the use of respirator protective equipment, and regular clearing of asbestos from the ventilation system. In unoccupied buildings, insulation material should be removed when possible and surveillance should continue when removal is not feasible. Dropped ceilings or paneled enclosures are acceptable means of control. Development of the Smithsonian health, safety, and hygiene program should be continued.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; TA-79-11; Region-3; Museums-and-art-galleries; Office-workers; Asbestos-products; Asbestos-dust; Fibrogenic-dusts; Acute-exposure; Air-sampling; Protective-measures; Hazards-Unconfirmed
Field Studies; Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
MD; DC; OH
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division