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Awareness and handling practices of asbestos in asbestos workers

Rajnarayan Tiwari, Asim Saha.

Objectives: This study is carried out to assess the knowledge and attitude of asbestos workers regarding health effects of asbestos, its preventive measures and safe disposal.
Methods: This cross sectional study included 117 asbestos workers of six small scale asbestos products manufacturing units. Interview technique was used as a tool for data collection on predesigned questionnaire.
Results: Only 50.4% of the subjects knew that their workplace asbestos as one of the raw material. Further 75 (64.1%) considered asbestos as harmful material for health. Only 10(8.5%) workers received formal training to safe handle the asbestos while only 3 (2.6%) subjects knew that health hazards caused by asbestos are compensable. All the workers were using mask to protect themselves against the dust. 29% of the workers did not know about the safe disposal of asbestos waste.
Conclusions: The present study reveals poor knowledge regarding asbestos and its safe disposal in the workers.

Key words: Asbestos, India, small-scale units

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