Environmental risks due to debris containing asbestos in post-earthquake conditions
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Many construction products contain asbestos. These are incorporated in the buildings in which we live. The term “asbestos” refers to six fibrous silicate materials that are naturally found in the Earth’s crust. It consists of many tiny fibers that can be seen only with a microscope. When products containing asbestos are disturbed, the asbestos fibers are broken into smaller pieces and these pieces float into the air even under the smallest air currents. Friable materials are therefore to be removed from buildings before demolition since they are considered hazardous waste, whereas non-friable materials may be normally treated as construction debris.
Since asbestos represents material that is used in constructing floors, partition walls, thermal isolation, water and sewerage pipes, i.e., it represents part of the buildings, it is exposed to earthquake effect, as well.
The present paper deals with the effect of earthquakes on asbestos plates and how this reflects the health of the population. Protection against these effects and regulations to be observed are also presented.
Keywordsasbestos asbestos regulations earthquakes effects upon health lead magnitude paint regulatory levels seismically active seismogene zones
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