Asbestos sampling by passive samplers

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Results from the INRS study in partnership with the French Federation of Building Tradesmen

INRS2

Workers operating in old buildings or on equipment may be at risk of inhaling asbestos fibres. Since it is difficult to monitor these workers by the conventional method, INRS has conducted a study on the use of a passive sampling tool developed by its British counterpart HSL (Health and Safety Laboratory). Thanks to the methodology implemented, the work carried out in the UK was further developed resulting in an effective easy-to-use passive sampler.

Following the characterisation, in the laboratory, of the performance of the sampler based on different physical parameters such as electret charge, particle concentration, relative humidity and air speed, the study was continued in the field during plumbing and heating works.

Combining the wearing of the sampler, an individual questionnaire and intervention sheets, these experiments identified the presence of asbestos in 35% of cases. Almost half of the operators were unaware of this risk.

The results of this study will serve to raise the awareness of professionals carrying out finishing work in the building industry.

Contact: céline.eypert-blaison@inrs.fr

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