Old houses are more likely to pack hazardous elements that demolition workers need to watch out. As a new employee in a demolition firm, it is only a matter of time before you are called on to work on older homes. It is not enough to rely on your manager solely for information on how to handle hazardous materials. As such, it is critical for you to discern the different toxic substances that an old house might harbor. While your supervisor might be aware of such toxic substances, you would be better prepared by acknowledging them yourself.
Synthetic Mineral Fibers -- Synthetic mineral fibers (popularly known as SMFs in demolition quarters) are fibrous products of ceramics, fiberglass, and rock wool. All these materials are used during the construction of houses. For instance, rock wool is still used as a thermal protection product in walls as well as on air-conditioning unit ducts. While SMFs are not as dangerous as asbestos, it is best that you protect yourself since they cause irritation. As such, you should make it your business to know whether a house has SMFs so that you could carry the appropriate protective gear. Most importantly, ensure that your nose, eyes, and mouth are carefully protected since they are the most sensitive to SMFs.
Formaldehyde Wood Dust -- For any demolition project, wood dust is a mainstay. That is, during demolitions, it is easy for wood dust to be stuck in your nasal cavity as you inhale. If you are working on an older house, the chances are that the wood might have absorbed formaldehyde over the years. As you bring down the structure, wood dust laced with formaldehyde is realized into the air, thereby exposing you to respiratory problems. Notably, unconfirmed reports indicate that formaldehyde wood dust could predispose someone to cancer.
Lead Paint -- Depending on the type of project, you might be asked to torch steel beams of a house. Innocently, some workers might burn such beams while overlooking the possibility that the paint on them might be lead-based. By torching, a metal piece painted with lead-based paint would melt the paint away, thereby exposing you to hazardous lead fumes. If you are involved in steelwork during a demolition project, ensure that you have a respirator. A hand washing station is also critical because you would want to wash away any paint that you might have come into contact.
Contact demolition services near you for more information and assistance.