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Mastic removal - an educational experience.
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1993 Jul; 8(7):607-608
The removal of mastic adhesive when removing floor tiles during building renovation or asbestos (1332214) abatement was discussed. NIOSH surveys were conducted in two schools where odors and health symptoms were reported after tile mastic removal. At one school, asbestos containing tile mastic was removed during a school break using a terpene based solvent. Returning staff and students complained of a strong odor, throat and eye irritation, nausea, and headache. Relocation of students was followed by remediation by cleaning of floors, ventilation, bake out procedures, ion and ozone air purifiers and sealing of floor joints. NIOSH tests revealed no emissions of the mastic remover, but detected several volatile organic compounds (VOCs), probably from renovation and construction materials. At the other school, mastic was removed using an organic solvents containing aromatic hydrocarbons. Complaints similar to those in the previous case led to remedial efforts. These included odor counteractant, ventilation, removal of carpet, and application of sealant. The NIOSH investigators detected emissions of mastic remover, with VOC concentrations of 1 to 2mg/m3. The secondary emission of remover from porous material such as ventilation duct lining, material in expansion joints, office dividers, and paper products were considered to be responsible for the persistent problem. Two exposure concerns not evaluated were the VOC concentrations when occupants first returned following mastic removal, and those to which workers were exposed to when removing tiles. The author concludes that measures to prevent odors and health symptoms should be take when the solvent method of mastic removal is used. Complete environmental monitoring should be conducted both before and after mastic removal.
NIOSH-Author; Adhesives; Air-contamination; Asbestos-removal; Cleaning-compounds; Environmental-contamination; Occupational-exposure; Toxic-effects; Solvent-vapors; Indoor-air-pollution; Indoor-environmental-quality
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 25, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division