Asbestos Concentrations and Lung Restrictive Patterns

Document Type: Original Research Paper


Department of Environmental Engineering, Khuzestan Science and Research branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran


Asbestos applications were limited during past two decades in developed nations due to its
debilitating health problems, while in developing countries it’s various usages continues. The main goals of
present study were evaluation of asbestos concentrations in ambient outdoor and indoor air and occupational
exposure, as well as exposure effects on pulmonary function. Sampling procedure was carried out during May
and June 2010 at four outdoor and seven indoor air sampling stations. Ten persons were selected based on their
exposure limits including high, moderate and low exposure. Also to assess pulmonary function of workers, 42
spirometry cases were tested. Samples were analyzed by SEM with EDXA. Obtained results revealed that
average concentrations of asbestos fibers were 1.885×10-5 f/mL and 0.065 f/mL in outdoor and indoor air,
respectively. Occupational exposure contents were between 1.5 ×10-5 – 0.2 f/mL (based on exposure limits).
Spirometry tests showed that 28% of workers had impaired lung functions. Lung restrictive pattern in
workers were 2% severe, 12% moderate and 14%. Results showed pattern of fibrous particles as actinolite>
termolite> chrysotile in indoor air. Generally, it is clear that there is positive meaningful relationship between
more than ten occupational ages and malfunction of lungs in studied workers due to asbestos effects.