Agencies release documents on occupational exposure to asbestos

February 25, 2010

A draft report issued last week by NIOSH updates the agency's research into occupational exposure to asbestos, while a report from an Australian agency showed workers lack knowledge on controlling the mineral's potential health risks.

The NIOSH document (.pdf file) is a revision of the Current Intelligence Bulletin, "Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongate Mineral Particles: State of the Science and Roadmap for Research." The institute is seeking comment on the draft, which suggests avenues of research for answering current scientific questions about occupational exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos Exposure and Compliance Study of Construction and Maintenance Workers (.pdf file), from Safe Work Australia, an independent government agency based in the Australian Capital Territory, warned that although tradespersons were aware of asbestos-related health risks and believed they could protect themselves, their ability to identify asbestos-containing materials and fall in compliance with safety procedures was lacking.