The effectiveness of two negative pressure modified glove bag containment techniques in controlling occupational asbestos exposure was studied. The first system evaluated was an Aero Pipe Capsule consisting of a hard reinforced plastic glove box with a plastic bag sealed to its lower side which provided a receptacle for debris. The second containment apparatus was a custom fabricated negative air glove bag made from polyethylene film, gloves or glove inserts, spray adhesive, and tape. The efficiency of both systems was evaluated under conditions of actual asbestos removal by collecting and analyzing personal breathing zone samples by phase contrast and transmission electron microscopy. Exposures of workers to asbestos during removal activities were less than the OSHA permissible exposure limit and the NIOSH recommended exposure limit as determined by phase contrast microscopy using both abatement techniques. Based on transmission electron microscopic analysis, however, many asbestos structures that were not visible using phase contrast microscopy were identified and increases in asbestos fiber concentrations were seen in both areas using the different containment techniques. The authors conclude that the use of protective measures such as respiratory protection and protective clothing are necessary during asbestos removal operations even with the use of negative pressure glove bag containment techniques.
Phillip A. Froehlich, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering, 4676 Columbia Parkway, R5, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226
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