Press Release Summary:
ASTM D7886, Practice for Asbestos Exposure Assessments for Repetitive Maintenance and Installation Tasks, is intended to aid those testing asbestos exposures by quantifying levels of such exposure. According to ASTM member Andrew Oberta, ASTM D7886 overcomes limitations of personal air sampling by describing method for conducting exposure assessment tests under controlled conditions. Standard focuses on maintenance and installation tasks requiring incidental disturbance of materials.
Original Press Release:
Assessments of Asbestos Exposure Due to Maintenance and Installation Covered in New ASTM Standard
A new standard, ASTM D7886, Practice for Asbestos Exposure Assessments for Repetitive Maintenance and Installation Tasks, will aid those testing asbestos exposures by quantifying such exposure levels.
Regulations set forth by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration require that worker exposure to asbestos be determined with a “high level of certainty.”
“ASTM D7886 overcomes the limitations of personal air sampling in the ordinary course of work by describing a method for conducting exposure assessment tests under controlled conditions using the same work practices and asbestos-containing materials that tradesmen and technicians encounter on job sites,” says ASTM member Andrew Oberta, consultant, The Environmental Consultancy. “The data from these tests give the employer a degree of confidence that the respirator provided to workers offers adequate protection, or whether one is needed at all, to remain in compliance with OSHA regulations or other criteria.”
Oberta notes that, while the purpose of asbestos abatement projects is to remove asbestoscontaining materials, ASTM D7886 is focused on the many maintenance and installation tasks that require disturbance of materials that is incidental to, but not the purpose of, the work. One example Oberta cites is drilling holes through asbestos floor tile to mount equipment or fixtures to the underlying substrate.
“These workers must be trained for the specific task they are performing, but the training does not qualify them to remove asbestos for purposes of abatement,” says Oberta. “Information from the exposure assessment tests in ASTM D7886 will help employers make informed decisions on the precautions needed for tasks that are performed repeatedly and consistently at different locations with similar materials and work practices.”
ASTM D7886 will be used by those conducting exposure assessment tests, as well as those who apply the results of such tests to their job sites. Test conductors will include industrial hygienists and other consultants, asbestos abatement contractors and laboratories. Employers who want to be confident that they are providing the respiratory protections and other precautions necessary for protecting their workers and others from asbestos fibers are among those who will be using new standard.
ASTM D7886 was developed by Subcommittee D22.07 on Sampling and Analysis of Asbestos, part of ASTM International Committee D22 on Air Quality.
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ASTM Committee D22 Next Meeting: Oct. 58, 2014, October Committee Week, New Orleans, La.
Andrew F. Oberta, MPS, CIH
The Environmental Consultancy
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