Take-home Exposure to Asbestos from Handling Contaminated Clothing

Abstract No:


Abstract Type:

Professional Poster 


J Lotter1


1Cardno ChemRisk, Chicago, IL


Jason Lotter, CIH  
Cardno ChemRisk


The objective of this study was to quantify the release of asbestos fibers during the shake-out of crocidolite- and chrysotile-laden clothing. The clothing was worn by an operator during the cutting of asbestos-containing cement pipe. Based on likely estimates of the frequency of such work, cumulative exposure estimates are provided for an individual performing laundry preparation activities.

Situation / Problem:

Although industrial uses of asbestos have declined since the 1970s, in recent years there has been an interest in para-occupational (take-home) exposure to asbestos. Take-home exposures can occur due to contamination of clothing, hair, or other items brought from the workplace into the home.


An exposure study was conducted in which personal and area air samples were collected during laundry preparation tasks involving work clothing previously worn by an operator during loading scenarios. In the loading events, the operator cut a historically representative asbestos-cement pipe (10% crocidolite, 25% chrysotile) outdoors using a gas-powered abrasive saw. Subsequently, a total of four shakeout events were evaluated (clothing from two worker simulations were used per event). The sampling time was 30 minutes per shakeout event and samples were analyzed in accordance with NIOSH methods 7400 and 7402.

Results / Conclusions:

The mean phase contrast microscopy equivalent (PCME) airborne concentrations based on personal samples were 0.52 ± 0.34 f/cc for total asbestos fibers, 0.36 ± 0.26 f/cc for chrysotile, and 0.17 ± 0.096 f/cc for crocidolite. Based on estimates, a family member handling the clothing could potentially have a lifetime cumulative exposure to chrysotile and crocidolite of approximately 0.20 f/cc-year and 0.096 f/cc-year, respectively. This is the first study to evaluate exposure to chrysotile and crocidolite separately for a take-home scenario using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The data collected in this study should prove useful for retrospective exposure assessments for take-home scenarios associated with work activities that involve cutting asbestos-cement pipe using power tools. Further studies are recommended to characterize exposure scenarios using different pipe manipulation tools and variations in task frequency and duration.

Primary Topic:

Sampling and Analysis

Secondary Topics:

Exposure Assessment Strategies

Acknowledgements and References

List any additional people who worked on the project or provided guidance and support along with details on the role they played in the research. (Please include first name, last name, organization, city, state and country).

Anders Abelmann, Cardno ChemRisk, Chicago, IL, USA
Joshua Maskrey, Cardno ChemRisk, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Aaron Chapman, Cardno ChemRisk, Arlington, VA, USA
Melanie Nembhard, Cardno ChemRisk, San Francisco, CA, USA
Mike Wilmoth, RJ Lee Group, Monroeville, PA, USA
Richard J. Lee, RJ Lee Group, Monroeville, PA, USA
Dennis Paustenbach, Cardno ChemRisk, San Francisco, CA

Learning Levels

What learning level(s) is the presentation content geared towards?

Competent - can perform to basic standards; has a thorough understanding of the content area but limited practical/work experience in the application of the content/concepts.