Silica Dust and Lead-Based Paint Are Dangerous.
Silica dust and lead based paint are byproducts of many seismic retrofits. The common use of epoxy and the disturbance of lead-based paint can have very serious health consequences. Epoxy is always required for hold-downs and many contractors use it for bolts. Removal of old wall finishes such as plaster or sheet rock can expose those in contact with it to dangerous lead-based paint. This webpage is devoted to warning you about their health effects and how to avoid exposure to both of these dangerous substances.
This video shows what happens if measures are not taken to protect yourself and others from carcinogenic silica dust and how a simple tool is all you need to handle it safely.
This doctor is speaking about the hazards of lead-based paint. In seismic retrofit work, it is not uncommon to remove hazardous lead-based paint. Bay Area Retrofit is certified in the safe removal of lead-based paint.
Epoxy Bolts And Silica Dust Exposure
Holes in concrete for epoxy foundation bolts and hold-down bolts must be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions in the manner illustrated above.
This process creates and exposes the public to carcinogenic silica dust. OSHA has requirements for its safe handling. “Safe Handling” means not using compressed air. Anyone in the vicinity of holes being blown out with compressed air will be exposed to this debilitating carcinogen.
Contractors have two options: They can either use dust masks to protect themselves and have them fit-tested once a year as required by OSHA or use hollow drill bits which extract the dust from the hole while it is being drilled. The former option still has the potential of exposing the public to silica dust. The latter option is 100% safe for everyone concerned.
Most contractors are not aware of how dangerous silica dust is.
Sometimes it is necessary to remove lead-based paint often found on existing wall finishes such as plaster or sheetrock so we can access the foundation, the floor above, and the 2 by 4 wall framing. As you can see this is a dirty and dusty business and in many old houses the paint has lead in it. Lead based paint, in the form of dust or chips can lead to very serious health problems including brain development in children. This is a very serious health risk, not only to us but to our clients and their families as well.
We have been certified by the Environmental Protection Agency for the safe handling of lead-based paint. This means we have been trained to keep all paint dust confined to the work areas and that it does not spread into the rest of your house. We do ask that you stay out of the work areas where we have removed plaster or sheetrock so that we keep your exposure to zero.