Construction and pollution go hand in hand. While construction pollution has been regarded as nothing more than an inconvenience and irritant, research has exposed the health dangers it poses.
This post examines the types of harmful air particles during construction, their harmful effects, and how to control them.
Gravel and soil dust
Soil and gravel are permanent features of construction sites. Both materials are hauled, stored, and excavated during construction, creating dust that's carried beyond the site's walls by wind.
In particular, soil with small particles poses a great risk to health as they are easy to inhale and can cause severe respiratory illnesses.
Wood is a popular material used during construction. When wood is sawed, sanded, or drilled on site, it produces small, fine particles of dust that can pose health risks to site workers when inhaled.
Heavy duty trucks, excavators, and generators emit diesel exhausts containing sulfur and nitrogen compounds, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and particulate matter.
These emissions are very small and easy to breathe into the lungs, causing lung cancer and other diseases.
Several construction materials contain harmful silica, including concrete, tile, grout, sandstone, and plasterboard.
When cutting, blasting, drilling, grinding, and mixing these materials, you generate silica dust, which can cause severe respiratory diseases such as lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and many others.
Some construction materials, such as limestone, marble, dolomite, and gypsum, contain little to no silica.
Although they don't cause as many health challenges as silica dust, they still generate dust when cut, crushed, and sanded. The dust from these materials can also mix with silica dust, making it more dangerous.
Large particle dust and toxic fibers produced during demolition can settle on surfaces, posing little to no risk.
On the other hand, small-sized particles or respirable dust hang in the air for a long time, lodging itself in the body's respiratory system and causing severe health issues.
How to Control Harmful Air Particles During Construction
During any construction project, you must take measures to reduce the spread of construction pollutants and their effects on people and the environment.
One common method for controlling construction air particles is surface wetting, which involves spraying water to prevent dust from becoming airborne.
Another increasingly popular, more effective, and less messy technique is the deployment of construction dust barriers.
These dust containment systems guarantee the restriction of dust to certain areas, preventing it from spreading and posing health risks to people on-site and nearby homes and offices. Schedule an appointment today!