2011 Volume 2 Issue 1 Pages 1_39-1_49
In Japan, it has been prohibited to import or manufacture a product that contains asbestos over 0.1% since 2006, except some specified ones by law. However, people are still exposed to asbestos in some facilities, such as an old building with asbestos or a building under renovation. The purpose of this paper is: to introduce a countermeasure we did take against asbestos derived from sprayed-on materials composed of vermiculite, which is widely used in a university, and to propose a method of risk management for asbestos exposure in similar school buildings.
It was in 2005 that through an analytical transmission electron microscope an occupational health staff found the sprayed-on material which is a part of our school buildings containing asbestos. Since then, under the discussion in the safety and health committee, the school has carried out steps for complying with stricter legal regulations against abestos and for applying the improved methods to analyze small amount of asbestos in sprayed-on vermiculite. Those countermeasures are as follows: to judge there is asbestos or not with X-ray diffraction technique, to examine how damaged spray-on materials are, to measure how high concentration of asbestos in the air, to determine control-policy in each room, to warn not to use so damaged rooms, and to remove sprayed-on materials from those rooms. Although the countermeasures taken in the school are not sufficient, we suppose that our case study will be helpful for other schools and organizations when they deal with sprayed-on materials made of vermiculite.