Saturday, January 28, 2006

Why care about dust on remodeling projects?

How many ways can this be answered?

Anyone have allergies? Asthmatic? Sensitive to off-gasing of VOC's? Immune to exposure to lead or asbestos? Truly like drywall dust buggers? Wonder why their skin was irritated after building their deck last weekend? Like spending days cleaning dust off of every horizontal surface in their home after their basement was built out?

These are just some of the issues I have seen during my years in remodeling. Since a young boy, I have been exposed to lead, asbestos, mold, vermiculite, arsenic, silica, cement, lime, fiberglass, cellulose, formaldehyde, ammonia, pet dander, human dander and the list goes on and on and on. Recently, I have noticed definite physical symptoms after exposure to contact-adhesive, paint thinner, acetone, new carpet, vinyl-flooring, solid-surface adhesive and many other chemicals used on current day remodeling projects. The number of man-made products combined with the number of naturally occurring substances that are ingested during remodeling is startling.

The reason to care about dust in remodeling is simple: minimize unnecessary discomfort and health hazards to workers and occupants. This should be a no brainer. But, as we go forward designing the dust Control program we will discover there is more to this issue than meets the eye.

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