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Korea Environmental Insight

Sponsored updates in association with the Korea Environmental Technology & Industry Institute (KEITI)

Monitoring and managing asbestos risk

A silent cause of death: asbestos

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The use of asbestos completely banned in Korea since 2009

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Asbestos injuries were regarded as occupational hazards in the past; however, with the damages spreading far and wide, Korea banned the use of all types of asbestos in 2009. In 2011, Korean lawmakers executed Asbestos Injury Relief Act. Until 2016, a total of 2,334 cases have been recognized as asbestos injury cases, and 27.3% of them, which are 637 in total, have been killed by asbestos exposure.

Europe, a pioneer in the regulations against asbestos

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Asbestos injuries are increasing worldwide. Amid these circumstances, some Northern European countries that have banned the use of asbestos in the 1980s are seeing a decrease in asbestos injuries. In Europe, Iceland began the ban on the use of asbestos in 1983, followed by 13 countries in the European Union in 1999. And all EU countries have banned the use of asbestos by 2005.

Development of a technology that measures the concentration of scattered asbestos on a real-time basis

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Environmental technology developed through R&D protect people from asbestos injuries (1)

Technical Overview

  • Developed a new technology that monitors the presence of scattered asbestos particles in the air on a real-time basis and measures the concentration (coefficient) per hour, allowing an on-site review.

Strengths compared to the existing technologies

  • Reduction in manpower, cost and time used in measuring scattered asbestos
  • Quick evaluation of the safety of the dismantlement and removal of asbestos

Company Information

Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, The Catholic University of Korea, www.cukrnd-iacf.ac.kr, +82-2-2258-7115, ehcho@catholic.ac.kr

Key Performance

Published two papers on topics including the characteristics of fabric and particles that occur from construction materials that contain asbestos during dismantlement and removal

Development of a system that controls the scattering of asbestos using a highly-efficient, low-differential pressure HEPA filter

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Environmental technology developed through R&D protect people from asbestos injuries (2)

Technical Overview

  • Developed an air purification system with high efficiency in controlling asbestos using a highly-efficient, low-differential pressure HEPA filter with melt blown (differential pressure of about 6mmAQ) materials.

Strengths compared to the existing technologies

  • Differential pressure of 6mmAq, which is 25% of existing HEPA filters made.
  • Achieved removal efficiency of 99.97% of asbestos particles of 0.3µm.

Company Information

Industry-University Cooperation Foundation, Hanyang University, research.hanyang.ac.kr, +82-2-2220-2213, jhcho82@hanyang.ac.kr

Key Performance

Proposed a standard and test index for devices (vacuum cleaners) and products(filters) to control asbestos from scattering by evaluating the removal efficiency and suction power

Standardization of technology used in diagnosing asbestos-related diseases caused by environmental exposure to asbestos

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Environmental technology developed through R&D protect people from asbestos injuries (3)

Technical Overview

  • Developed criteria for diagnosing asbestos-related diseases such as malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis pulmonum, lung cancer and pleural plaque/pleural thickening, in order to implement policies pertaining to adjudicating and compensating asbestos-related injuries and damages, and improve asbestos safety management.

Strengths compared to the existing technologies

  • Created objective and pathological diagnostic criteria by standardizing radiological diagnostic criteria of malignant mesothelioma.

Company Information

University-Industry Foundation, Yonsei University Wonju Campus, wresearch.yonsei.ac.kr, +82-33-760-5260, josm@yonsei.ac.kr

Key Performance

Published 4 SCI papers, including Multi detector CT Findings and Differential Diagnoses of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma and Metastatic Pleural Diseases in Korea