Risk assessment of asbestos-cement roof sheets in Chekka, North Lebanon (Jun 3, 2019)
Asbestos-cement was manufactured and used in Lebanon since the early 1950s. Corrugated rooftops of asbestos-cement were mostly spread within residential areas throughout the country. These rooftops are subject to weathering factors which are known to increase friability and risk of hazardous fiber release. This study aimed at assessing the asbestos-cement rooftop friability and the possible emerging risks in the urban-industrial city of Chekka, North Lebanon. The evaluation of the asbestos-cement included two field assessment algorithms and a standardized pull-up test. Hazard of fiber emissions was assessed by a pull-up test method, whereas vulnerability was determined by a level of interaction between people and the rooftops. Geographic object-based image analysis was used to map hazard, vulnerability, and risk of asbestos rooftops in the study area. The field algorithms classified most rooftops in a bad state compared with the pull-up test which ranked most of them as good. The X-ray diffraction analysis showed the presence of serpentine and amphibole fibers, except for crocidolite, in some rooftop samples. Hazard, vulnerability, and risk maps of the sampled area showed how hazard potential was amplified by vulnerability of population to possible fiber emission.