The natural occurrence of asbestos (NOA) in rural areas is a serious concern for human health and the dis-persion route of asbestos in the proximity of natural asbestos-rich settings has been marginally evaluatedso far. NOA may affect air, but also water and soil quality. In rural areas population may be exposed toasbestos with a largely unknown impact on human health. This work investigates the potential exposureof a farmer cultivating a field nearby the largest former asbestos mine of Western Europe (Balangero,Italy). The concentration of waterborne asbestos in the stream used to water the field was measured (ca.2 × 105fibers per liter, ff/L) and the cultivated ultramafic topsoil characterized, evidencing a remarkableoccurrence of chrysotile. The worker’s personal exposure and the environmental fiber dispersion duringa simulated agricultural activity (tillage) were quantified in two independent trials. During the trials, theworker was exposed to average concentrations of 16 and 26 ff/L, with a peak of 40 ff/L. These data informabout the possible exposure of an agricultural worker to asbestos concentration higher than the acceptedthreshold of 2 ff/L. The release of asbestos fibers into the environment was negligible (0–2 ff/L).

Assessment of asbestos exposure during a simulated agricultural activity in the proximity of the former asbestos mine of Balangero, Italy

TURCI, Francesco
First
;
FAVERO LONGO, Sergio Enrico;GAZZANO, Claudia;TOMATIS, Maura;
2016

Abstract

The natural occurrence of asbestos (NOA) in rural areas is a serious concern for human health and the dis-persion route of asbestos in the proximity of natural asbestos-rich settings has been marginally evaluatedso far. NOA may affect air, but also water and soil quality. In rural areas population may be exposed toasbestos with a largely unknown impact on human health. This work investigates the potential exposureof a farmer cultivating a field nearby the largest former asbestos mine of Western Europe (Balangero,Italy). The concentration of waterborne asbestos in the stream used to water the field was measured (ca.2 × 105fibers per liter, ff/L) and the cultivated ultramafic topsoil characterized, evidencing a remarkableoccurrence of chrysotile. The worker’s personal exposure and the environmental fiber dispersion duringa simulated agricultural activity (tillage) were quantified in two independent trials. During the trials, theworker was exposed to average concentrations of 16 and 26 ff/L, with a peak of 40 ff/L. These data informabout the possible exposure of an agricultural worker to asbestos concentration higher than the acceptedthreshold of 2 ff/L. The release of asbestos fibers into the environment was negligible (0–2 ff/L).
308
321
327
www.elsevier.com/locate/jhazmat
Chrysotile; Natural occurrence of asbestos (NOA); Personal exposure; Ultramafic soil; Waterborne asbestos; Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis; Pollution; Waste Management and Disposal; Environmental Chemistry; Environmental Engineering
Turci, Francesco; Favero-Longo, Sergio Enrico; Gazzano, Claudia; Tomatis, Maura; Gentile, Laura; Bergamini, Massimo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1556904
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