The use of asbestos as a construction material in public buildings: a case study

Dündar-Mustafa, Deniz
Since the beginning of the 20th century, asbestos minerals due to its physical and chemical properties were used in many industrial areas, especially construction. Despite its common preference in industry, carcinogenic effects of asbestos on health were identified. Therefore, use of asbestos minerals was forbidden worldwide. Nevertheless, at present, the negative health effects become a significant issue because of urban transformation projects, even in Turkey. The main objective of this study is to assess construction materials within the scope of asbestos usage in the public buildings. The research methodology followed in this study has two main stages as field and laboratory work. In the first stage, 10 public buildings built between 1960 and 1980, were selected at 5 different locations in Ankara. A total of 150 samples which include wall, floor coverings and insulation materials, were taken from these buildings. The second stage of the research was conducted at the laboratory to examine the samples mineralogically and petrographically. The samples firstly were grouped based on the density of fibrous content under stereo microscope. Following this step, asbestos content and type were examined by polarized light microscope. Research findings revealed that asbestos is present in 47% of 150 samples. Moreover, asbestos minerals were used not only in insulation materials, but also in wall and floor materials. The obtained results indicate the existence of all six asbestos types including the most risky ones as amosite and crocidolite for human health. The main novelty of this thesis study is that it clarifies the use of asbestos as construction materials to be more than it is estimated. This research, moreover, expand asbestos awareness, and make generalization for the asbestos risk assessment use before demolition and maintenance-repair processes in Turkey, in order to protect both employee and public health.
Citation Formats
D. Dündar-Mustafa, “The use of asbestos as a construction material in public buildings: a case study,” Thesis (M.S.) -- Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences. Occupational Health and Safety., Middle East Technical University, 2020.