The Hazards and Mitigation of Dust in Demolition

Dust created by equipment

When discussing potential hazards involved in a demolition job, dust is rarely at the top of the list. But, dust is a reality in almost any type of demolition and being able to control dust on site is an important skill for your demolition contractor. The term dust refers to any minute solids. Particularly in industrial demolition, when various hazardous materials are present, prolonged exposure to dust is more than just a nuisance. Here's a closer look at both the hazards created by dust and mitigation techniques used by demolition contractors.
  • Hazards
Because demolition crews find themselves working in more densely populated areas than ever before, effectively identifying potential hazards to the surrounding community is extremely important. Dust can be hazardous to both humans and to equipment. It gets in the airways of workers and members of the community and exacerbates conditions like asthma. Engine wear and maintenance requirements are increased due to equipment's air intake includes significant amounts of dust. There are also the concerns of hazardous materials included in airborne dust. Asbestos is the most well-known hazard present on demolition sites, but there additional concerns over crystalline silica and histoplasmosis. Exposure to each of these hazards, particularly when they are being inhaled, can lead to significant health problems .
  • Mitigation
The most common and simple technique for controlling dust on a demolition site is to use surface suppression. Using hoses and sprinklers, workers spray water over surfaces, which serves to keep dust from being released into the air. It can, potentially, create additional safety concerns, however, because of the amount of water it introduces onto the site. Airborne dust capture systems, which come in the form of atomized spray or electrostatically charged fog, is an alternative method for mitigation. While fog is successful in particle control, it's not as effective in windy or turbulent environments and is typically only used in controlled, indoor projects. Atomized spray is typically launched from a powerful fan at high velocity in order to capture dust out of the air. This technique has proven to be the most effective for many demolition applications.For effective planning and control of hazards and other obstacles in demolition projects, you need to work with experienced, professional contractors. Call us at Demolition Technologies to learn how we approach projects while making safety and environmental responsibility at the forefront.