Chemicals are nasty and they can cause a lot of health issues to you and the people around you if you do not handle them carefully. With certain chemicals, it may be necessary to wear gloves, while others require specialized masks or more.
Here are 5 hazardous construction chemicals that require special handling:
- Asbestos: Asbestos can be deadly if a person breathes it into their lungs, which is why it needs to be handled carefully when it is found inside a building. It can be found in joint compound, floor tiles, cement boards, pipes, and shingles. The EPA tried to have asbestos banned in 1989, but an appeals court overturned that ruling in 1991.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a carcinogen and when you are exposed to this chemical long term, you can acquire respiratory issues like asthma and skin irritation. This chemical is commonly found in plywood, carpet, and polyurethane foam.
- Di-isocyanates: Di-isocyanates can be found in foams, coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers and while it is not a serious health risk to many, it is to the people who may inhale it in vapor or liquid form. This chemical has been in use since the 1940s and many construction workers will handle it in many polyurethane products.
- Flame Retardants: Flame retardants were designed to prohibit the spread of fire and can be found on thermal insulation boards and multiple textiles. The chemicals used in the flame retardants have been linked to cancer, birth defects, endocrine disruption, and developmental problems.
- Silica: Silica dust is one of the worst chemicals that a person can inhale. Once the dust hits a person’s lungs, they are in danger of developing lung problems, lung cancer, or kidney cancer. Silica can be found in bricks, glass, and concrete, so if you work with these items, you will need to be extremely cautious.
We recommend that you use extreme caution whenever you are handling any chemical. It is always better to be overly cautious and over prepared, than to find out that you inhaled a chemical that is deadly.
There may be a day when there are no chemicals used in building materials, but until that day arrives, we want you to be as safe as possible when working with any material that contains chemicals of any kind. Call us at 407-316-8544 to discuss your choice of building materials and the potential chemicals you’ll be exposed to during your upcoming construction project in the Orlando area or in other areas of central Florida.