Air Quality and Air Pollution in Australia from Construction
Construction is one of the predominant sources of pollution, especially in dense areas where the dust and debris is accumulated within a small area. The chief contributors include materials such as concrete, cement, wood, stone, sand and silica which are blown into the air in the form of dust during the construction process. These materials qualify for the PM-10 standard. That means they are less than 10 microns in diameter and particularly dangerous to the human health. However, there are steps that a construction company can partake in to reduce the harmful impacts of its work and comply with the laws and guidelines in Australia.
Screens and Covers
First and foremost, every site should have copious screens covers and walls to ensure that dust is contained primarily in the work area. There must be a fresh mesh screen put over the primary work area, especially if heavy machinery is being operated.
Trucks should have cover skips in place to help minimize these particles from spraying into the air. These are especially significant to protect because they are traveling through residential areas and expose so many number of people as they pass by. Protecting transportation with covers is just as important if not more so than the construction site itself.
Every day and periodically, all sites should be tamped down with water. Fine water sprays using a hose help to provide a solvent to the particles and bring them crashing to the ground, where they are less harmful to humans. Similarly, cover skips on vehicles need to be damped down with water every once in a while.
Importantly, sites using water to prevent aerial pollution should ensure there is a safe sewage and filtration system already in place. Otherwise, these materials will eventually make their way into the dirt, rivers and streams. This hurts the natural environment as well as the food chain which will eventually be detrimental for humans.
Inspections and Audits
Construction teams must run regular inspections and audits of the site. They have to ensure that the major areas are contained with screens as mentioned above. They also have to look for spills or messes that could lead to problems in the future.
Where possible, a reduction in the amount of dangerous materials used in the construction of the property is encouraged. There are now green building organizations that certify materials that are good for the environment and not harmful to humans through air or water pollution. In particular, you should be seeking out non-toxic paints, solvents and other non hazardous materials.
The hazardous materials that are used should be segregated from one another and from the other less hazardous resources. That reduces the likelihood that theirs will be a dangerous reaction. Additionally, it prevents the spread of dangerous materials throughout the entire project. Hazardous resources should be used sparingly in any case.
Use fuels that are not as toxic to the environment to run heavy equipment and trucks. Generally, most heavy equipment, construction machines and other tools can now use low sulphur diesel oil. That reduces the air pollution and helps the health of workers and neighbours. More and more hybrid and electric vehicles are now on the market as reasonable transportation options. There are even electric 16 wheel trailers coming onto the market.
Using all of these methods, construction firms can dramatically reduce the air pollution on their sites. They can improve the workers health and the nearby residents. The firm might even make more money by using high quality materials and charging more for construction.
To learn more please contact Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd