Effective ways to Reduce Air Pollution at Construction Sites

March 16, 2021

Progress requires innovation and construction of new monuments and buildings. A wide range of complex structures not only pertains to residencies, offices, and public buildings but also factories, bridges, tunnels for mining, and many more are commissioned to support the growing population. These gargantuan structures that dwarf men in size are not only very expensive to build, but they are conducted under safety precautions. It is during the construction period when chemicals used are released in the air and are often harmful to humans.

Let us go through some common issues contributing to air pollution at construction sites, and how to effectively deal with them.

Diesel Engine Exhaust Emissions

Diesel is used for powering almost all the heavy machinery found in construction sites, as well as in mines. The exhaust that is released due to the running of the machines is often trapped in the same environment as the construction workers, leading to several health complications over long periods of exposure. Breakthroughs in diesel emission technologies have come a long way, but harmful residues remain part of the problem.

These fumes, commonly referred to as DEEE, are recognized worldwide as harmful, and construction workers must be safeguarded from contracting diseases that can be prevented. A mixture of harmful gases such as Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Monoxide (NO), and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO₂) are released from diesel as Products of Incomplete Combustion (PIC).

Apart from these known dangerous gases, diesel engine exhaust emissions contain a variety of other harmful hydrocarbons and Sulphur Dioxide (SO₂), which can cause a host of short-term, immediate effects, as well as long-lasting ones.

With the help of experts specializing in continuous emissions monitoring, you can provide a better environment for construction workers. Several breakthroughs have been made in construction work and it is important to abide by the legal policies as part of quality control. Several reputable consultancies can help you monitor and assess DEEE levels of air pollution at construction site.

In general, the protocol involves collecting the breath samples from all ground-level construction workers over a period of time and assessing the levels of harmful gases in their system. There is a certain limit to which the human body can withstand exposure to DEEE, after which the condition of the worker might suffer. Data of the workers is collected over 6 months or so, before calculating if the levels of the gases in their system are under check or increasing. Necessary steps are then taken to ensure that the conditions of the workers improve further.

Find a Way to Dispose of Waste Sustainably

Construction sites generate their fair share of waste substances. It was standard practice up until the 1900s in several parts of the world to burn construction waste on-site, before the intervention of some much-needed rules and regulations. Such practices mostly go unchecked and under the radar are most small construction sites, hence extra care needs to be taken to ensure that the disposal of waste follows established workplace guidelines in line with government regulations. Hiring a consultancy is alternatively a great idea for both small and large scale construction sites to ensure a certain level of professional vigilance.

Use Water Sprinklers and Sprays

Using innovative measures can often be the turning point for businesses, but when it comes to safety, it is better to stick to the basics. Using water sprays or sprinklers to sink suspended particulate matter is a time tested and effective strategy to minimize the risk of several breathing problems and diseases. Take a look at our blog to find out more!

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