When working with hazardous metals, you must refrain from eating and smoking in the work area as this increases the likelihood of ingestion or inhalation of the metallic particles. The assistance of an industrial hygienist must be obtained when selecting respiratory protection devices.
Asbestos is a general term used to describe several fibrous mineral salicates used for asbestos cement products, fireproofing, insulation, and asbestos cloth.
Inhaling asbestos fibers can produce severe lung damage in the form of fibrosis. Asbestos is also a factor in the development of cancer (mesothelioma) of the membranes lining the chest and abdomen.
Although asbestos-free substitute materials are being developed, much asbestos containing material can still be found in Navy facilities and on board vessels. When repair is necessitated in these areas where asbestos containing materials are located, ripout precautions and procedures must be effected. These areas of asbestos containing material, especially insulation, are found in older facilities and vessels and will continue to create concern for potential personnel exposure for some years. Insulation in modern facilities and vessels is asbestos-free and presents no asbestos problems.
OPNAVINST 5100.23 series and DODINST 6055.5-M series provide guidance concerning occupational health standards, control, and medical surveillance requirements for asbestos exposure.
Local exhaust ventilation control measures and dust collection systems must be installed and maintained to control the concentration of airborne asbestos fibers. See NAVSHIPTECH Manual for control procedures. Asbestos must be handled or otherwise worked in a wet state to prevent it from becoming airborne. All asbestos waste, including bags, containers, equipment, and contaminated clothing will be collected, wetted down, and disposed of in sealed bags or containers. Personnel working with asbestos will be provided with respirators, coveralls, head coverings, gloves, and foot coverings.
Halogenated hydrocarbons are compounds of carbon and hydrogen, in which one or more of the hydrogen atoms have been replaced by the halogens atoms (chlorine, bromine, fluoride, or iodine). They are normally used in gaseous or liquid form as solvents, refrigerants, fumigants, insecticides, paint removers, dry cleaning fluids, and aerosol propellants.
All halogenated hydrocarbons are hazardous to health in some degree if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin.
When exposed to high temperatures or ultraviolet radiation (such as that generated by arc-welding), halogenated hydrocarbons decompose and form extremely toxic materials such as phosgene gas and hydrogen chloride. In case of fires in areas containing these materials, all personnel entering these spaces must be provided with a pressure demand self-contained breathing apparatus. All halogenated hydrocarbons must be labeled properly and special care must be taken to avoid confusing materials because of similarly spelled names. Whenever halogenated hydrocarbons are used, adequate ventilation must be provided. All personnel working with halogenated hydrocarbons in confined or enclosed spaces must use breathing equipment and wear protective clothing. In addition, they must have medical surveillance physicals as prescribed in DODINST 6055.5-M series and receive adequate training.