The respiratory system is the primary portal of entry for asbestos into the human body. Therefore, like as it is relevant to understand the applicability of techniques and selected instrumentation for analysis of environmental samples, it is equally important in determination of asbestos content from biological samples. Based on its on its fibrous morphology, asbestos is recognized as being a pathogenically active dust. Once inhaled, asbestos has continuous influences on cellular, biochemical, and molecular events in the human body. These complementary stimuli in synergy with the fibrous morphology of asbestos can result in irreversible cellular damage and in some cases the development of tumors. Various countries have sought to deal with asbestos and public health through regulatory guidance documents. This is necessary since asbestos mixtures are frequently used in industry, particularly chrysotile with either amosite or crocidolite. Moreover, exposures to "contaminant" noncommercial amphiboles are common in miners and millers of chrysotile, talc, and vermiculite in some geographical locations. Therefore, there has been an acknowledged risk when the person is subjected to the exposure of asbestos, and these risks are health risks to create potential health problems even years after the exposure ceases. To prohibit these there are regulations from different authorities, which ideally would ascertain safety by eliminating and minimizing risks for the workers. These regulations should be guided by this risk and risk assessment approach. In this critical review, an assessment of different regulations will be done to examine how far these regulations have been guided by the concept of risk to control occupational exposure of asbestos (Bartrip, 2004, 72-76).
Review: There is a perceived need for this critical review for various reasons. Practically, exposure to asbestos is very difficult to characterize. Moreover, there is a continued debate since there is an important confounding factor to determine the aetiology of any particular pathology. A strict separation of minerals goes beyond "asbestos" but involves two separate classes of the amphiboles, which collectively make up a great percentage of the earth's crust. The amphiboles occur in both forms and are not fibrous and do not look like asbestos, although they are basically asbestos. For those that are not fibrous and termed nonasbestiform, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ruled in 1992 that "available evidence supports a conclusion that exposure to nonasbestiform cleavage fragments is not likely to produce a significant risk of developing asbestos-related disease" (OSHA, 1992) Similar problem has been reported from the British areas, but from the point of view of causation of the disease, this appears immaterial which form of asbestos has caused the disease. The grouping of the three commercial asbestos minerals is usually supplemented by the addition of the three "noncommercial" asbestiform amphiboles tremolite, actinolite, and