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Definition - What does Asbestos mean?

Asbestos is an organic mineral compound that serves as a traditional manufacturing element within the construction, shipbuilding, and general business sectors. It is noted for its chemical properties in tempering heat and corrosion. Hence, asbestos-based materials consist of dense fibers that operate as the framework for installation units, flooring, and automotive parts. It also appears as a synthetic byproduct following demolition and renovation tasks.

SureHire explains Asbestos

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets a precedent for instituting federal mandates recognizing the toxicity of asbestos across multiple statewide jurisdictions in a concerted effort to regulate the level of exposure. Although some states do not carry OSHA-based sanctions, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) represents many state and local enterprises in effectively managing asbestos concentration levels to help promote safety. Hence, many employers are required to comply with the permissible exposure limit (PEL), serving as the index established by OSHA that dictates the cumulative amount of asbestos exposure based on an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) variable.

While many employers follow the OSHA paradigm for minimizing respirable asbestos particles, a narrow margin exists in containing asbestos given the epidemiological implications that individuals may experience. For instance, inhaling minute quantities of asbestos over time induces scar tissue, also known as asbestosis, forming on the alveoli (air sacs) of the lungs. This can lead to comorbid pulmonary conditions such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. A health and safety program that incorporates asbestos awareness by designating restricted areas with appropriate placards, administering proper training and educational resources, and consistent health checkups can help curtail the number of cases to overexposure.

The coordination between employers and employees to help mitigate asbestos toxicity in the workplace reflects a dynamic approach to identify and eliminate potential hazards that can jeopardize the longevity of life.

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