Performance of Asbestos Enclosure Ventilation: Laboratory Evaluation of Complex Configuration

Ilpo Kulmala (Corresponding Author), Markku Linnainmaa, Anna Kokkonen, Kimmo Heinonen, Tomi Kanerva, Arto Säämänen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of the study was to find out good practices for effective air distribution inside a complex shaped asbestos enclosure and for control of pressure differences between the enclosure and the surroundings. In addition, sufficient pressure difference for asbestos containment was tested. The effect of air distribution was studied in laboratory conditions by constructing an L-shaped asbestos enclosure and connecting it to a negative pressure unit. The efficiency of six different ventilation configurations was compared using a tracer decay method and the local air change indexes as the performance indicator. The sufficient negative pressure for containment was assessed by simulating person traffic to and from the enclosure and recording the pressure difference continuously. The effect of a pressure controller unit in maintaining the target pressure difference was also tested by simulating filter loadings of the negative pressure unit causing changes in the air flow rate. The results showed that high nominal air change rates alone do not guarantee good air distribution. Effective air distribution within an asbestos enclosure can be arranged by locating additional air supply openings far away from the air exhaustion point, using recirculation air with a pressure controller, or extending the exhaust location to the poorly ventilated areas. A pressure difference of at least −10 Pa is recommended to ensure a sufficient margin of safety in practical situations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1095
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Work Exposures and Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • asbestos
  • asbestos enclosure
  • asbestos enclosure ventilation
  • ventilation efficiency
  • local air change index


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