This case involves a group of construction workers that were exposed to asbestos during the renovation of a brewery located on an industrial site. The project manager was aware of the risk of asbestos on site and mandated that all workers wear respirators while on site. The respirators used were marketed to filter small particles and prevent lung disease. In spite of consistent respirator use, many of the workers have developed asbestos-related complications, including mesothelioma. An expert in aerosol physics was sought to discuss the industry standards for respirators and testing methodology to determine if the filters were sufficient enough to withstand degradation.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your experience and knowledge relating to the design and use of respirators.
- 2. Can you speak to respirator testing conducted under the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health?
- 3. What industry standards must manufacturers meet regarding the design and use of respirators?
Expert Witness Response E-087155
I am a professor with 28 years experience as a research technician. I have expertise in aerosol physics as applied to the assessment and control of workplace aerosols. I have had certification as an industrial hygienist and am a member of the industrial hygiene program in my department. I have been involved in direct research on respirators over the past 6 years with 2 publications on the subject and multiple conference presentations. I have been engaged in research related to the efficiency and pressure drop of face-mask respirators in various environmental conditions and under loading. We have conducted tests following the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health methods for respirator testing, so I am familiar with them.