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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7

Measurement of airborne asbestos levels in high traffic areas of Shiraz, Iran, in winter 2014


1 Student Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan; Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Environment Research Center, Research Institute for Primordial Prevention of Non-communicable Disease, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan; Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Yaghoub Hajizadeh
Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Hezar Jerib Street, Isfahan
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2277-9183.184221

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Aims: Levels of asbestos fibers in ambient air of dense areas of Shiraz, Iran, were monitored in winter 2014. Materials and Methods: Sampling was carried out by directing air flow to a mixed cellulose ester membrane filter mounted on an open-faced filter holder using a low flow sampling pump. Fiber counting on the filters was conducted using both phase contrast microscopy (PCM) method to determine total fibers and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) method to identify nonasbestos from asbestos fibers. Results: The average concentration of asbestos fibers in the ambient air of the study in different areas of Shiraz were 1.18 ± 0.28 PCM f/L and 13.64 ± 2.87 SEM f/L, in which a maximum level was measured in Valiasr square (1.89 ± 0.54 PCM f/L [20.37 ± 5.55 SEM f/L]), and that of in Moallem square was in minimum (1.05 ± 0.47 PCM f/L [12.24 ± 3.04 SEM f/L]). Conclusions: The averages of asbestos fibers in all sampling points were higher than the WHO suggested standards for ambient air (0.05 PCM f/L, 2.2 SEM f/L). This may be attributed to the frequent occurrence of heavy traffic, the existence of relevant industries in and around the city, and the topographic characteristics of the city. Therefore, immediate courses of action such as product substitution, traffic smoothing, and industrial sites relocating should be taken to eliminate asbestos fibers emission.


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