Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hansen, Earl E.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Technology


Floors--Maintenance and repair; Flooring; Tile


This study set out to quantify differences in concentrations of airborne asbestos as a function of wetting methods associated with the use of the mechanical chipper. In addition, it sought to evaluate two analytical methods, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and phase-contrast microscopy (PCM), used to identify airborne concentration of asbestos. Friable asbestos (pipe lagging) and non-friable asbestos (floor tile) air samples were also collected and compared. Air samples were collected and analyzed by PCM in accordance with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Manual of Analytical Methods. NIOSH 7400 and by TEM in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency's AHERA protocol. It was concluded that one should consider not using PCM to make decisions in determining proper respiratory protection levels, final "clean" air levels, and levels outside containment during the abatement process. TEM should be utilized during the abatement of all non-friable asbestos materials. Heavy wetting of the floor and allowing water to stand for several minutes (10 or more) are recommended wherever feasible during floor tile abatement using a mechanical chipper. Feasibility, however, infers that one does not create a spillage problem to a lower level.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [44]-45)


45 pages




Northern Illinois University

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