Sometimes the most dangerous aspects of a situation are entirely invisible. That’s definitely the case for concrete demolition contractors, who may be exposed to crystalline silica, a substance commonly found in rocks, which is released during concrete shearing. Crystalline silica particles can enter a contractor’s lungs, cutting them and causing the build-up of scar tissue and restricting the amount of nutrients the lungs can absorb. Lung cancer, tuberculosis, and silicosis are a few of the diseases caused by crystalline silica exposure. But crystalline silica is just one of many different air pollutants commonly found in demolition work.
To keep contractors and the general public safe, demolition contractors must take special precautions to prevent air pollution. OSHA and EPA regulations require safety measures such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for workers, along with other steps, as we outline below.
Oregon Demolition Contractors on Reducing Air Pollution in Demolition
Dust Control is the main consideration for demolition air pollution. From New York to Portland, building demolition can kick up tons of dust, including crystalline silica and asbestos particles. The cutting and crushing of demolition materials inevitably releases dust. Without the proper control efforts, workers and local residents can be exposed to dust and put at risk for contracting serious lung diseases. To prevent dust pollution, wetting agents and building wraps can minimize the spread of dust.
Construction Barriers can prevent the spread of certain dangerous airborne agents between demolition zones. Mold, bird excrements, adhesives, VOCs, and carbon monoxide are some of the potential air pollutants in demolition.
Fans and other Ventilation Tools can depressurize occupied areas, drawing away potentially contaminated air. Demolition contractors may use air pressure monitoring tools, such as micromanometers, to determine the air pressure differential between construction zones and occupied spaces.
HVAC System Analysis is crucial, as a building’s circulation system can easily draw contaminants back into occupied spaces (a process referred to as re-entrainment). To make HVAC operation safe, demolition contractors may need to focus on system returns, supply components, and central filtration devices. Additionally, HVAC systems may be dismantled during certain periods of heavy demolition, minimizing the distribution of pollutants.
HEPA-Equipped Vacuum Cleaners can also help control dust, along with wet regular wiping and mopping of surfaces.
Having provided demolition services for nearly two decades, we here at Elder Demolition are well versed in how to prevent demolition air pollution. Our goal is to live up to the reputation we’ve established as a respected leader in west coast demolition. We are passionate about minimizing the environmental impact of our demolition projects. From industrial plant dismantling to urban commercial demolition, we have worked in a wide variety of settings to cut air pollution using a variety of methods, including those described above. For more detailed information on the equipment and techniques we use to cut air pollution, contact us today.