Identifying and managing asbestiform minerals in geological collections

Horak, J., Faithfull, J. , Price, M. and Davidson, P. (2016) Identifying and managing asbestiform minerals in geological collections. Journal of Natural Science Collections, 3, pp. 51-61.

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Asbestos is widely recognised as a serious hazard, and its industrial use is now banned within the UK, and EU, and strict regulations govern the use of older manufactured materials which may contain asbestos. However, asbestos is also a natural geological material, and may occur in museum collections as minerals or constituents of rock specimens. In the UK the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) provides the legal framework for the safe identification, use and disposal of asbestos. However, these regulations, and other EU regulations, provide no specific guidance on dealing with potentially asbestos-containing natural materials. CAR 2012 specifies just six asbestos minerals although a number of other minerals in museum collections are known to have asbestiform structures and be hazard-ous, including other amphiboles, and the zeolite erionite. Despite the lack of specific guid-ance, museums must comply with CAR 2012, and this paper outlines the professional ad-vice, training and procedures which may be needed for this. It provides guidance on identifi-cation of potential asbestos-bearing specimens and on procedures to document them and store them for future use, or to prepare them for professional disposal. It also makes sug-gestions how visitors, employees and others in a museum can be protected from asbestos as incoming donations and enquiries, managed in the event of an emergency, and safely included in displays.

Item Type:Articles (Other)
Keywords:Health and Safety, Geology, asbestos, amphiboles, serpentine, museum, collections, mineralogy, petrology
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Faithfull, Dr John
Authors: Horak, J., Faithfull, J., Price, M., and Davidson, P.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:University Services > Library and Collection Services > Museum and Art Gallery
Journal Name:Journal of Natural Science Collections
Publisher:Natural Sciences Collections Association
ISSN (Online):2053-1141
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Natural Sciences Collections Association
First Published:First published in Journal of Natural Science Collections 3:51-61
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher.

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