Alex Tan, CHMM
Asbestos in Our Daily Lives
On July 12,2018, a jury in Missouri has come out a verdict on Johnson & Johnson to compensate 22 women $4.69 billion for their damage from using the talcum powder products that cause the ovarian cancer. The Washington Post. Johnson & Johnson is disappointed with the outcome and
continues to show confidence in their talcum products which are asbestos-free.
Asbestos are naturally occurring minerals that are in fibrous form and can cause cancer such as mesothelioma. The benefits of asbestos are waterproof, fireproof, elastic, and etc. In the U.S., asbestos-containing products still exist, including gaskets, brake pads, pipe insulation, Transite pipes, roofing materials.
Workers who encounter or may be exposure to asbestos-containing products are protected under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in General Industry, Shipyards, and Construction. The Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for asbestos is 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air in an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA). Assessment can be done by certified personnel to determine the presence of asbestos. Engineering control must be used at the work performed, and respiratory protection with medical surveillance is required for workers exposed at or above the limit. Training requirement varies at different levels of works.