Air Quality Monitoring in the Construction Industry

Upon introducing oneself as an air quality monitor on-site, one will realize that almost every construction worker has a story of a job site that made them light-headed. Most only realized the effects when they got home after a full day of work; a few have stories of air with so much pollution that they had to stop work because of distracting headaches. Others have stories of “thick air” at a site which caused them to cough for weeks. Construction staff and the local population should never be exposed to these dangerous environments.

To protect workers and the surrounding community, construction and demolition projects that involve excavation need to follow a stringent Community Air Monitoring Plan (CAMP) as specified by the New York State Department of Health. Qualified air monitors must be on-site to track the concentration of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and airborne particulates leaving an active work site, in accordance with the CAMP and ensure that actions are taken to reduce emissions when necessary.

Any time a construction project involves earth-moving, it has the potential to release dust and contaminants that exist below the surface. Particulate emissions must be controlled to prevent impacts to the respiratory system, from lung irritation to chronic lung disease. VOCs will readily transition to the gaseous, breathable phase, when exposed to air. Typically, representative soil samples are tested before an excavation project can begin, but it is impossible to sample the entire excavated media. On occasion, contamination can exist in pockets, or pre-construction utility surveys might not pick up on historical buried chemical storage tanks that have since started to leak. These underground hazards can create a dangerous environment.

Walden’s team of qualified professionals can prepare site-specific soil sampling plans and required site-specific Community Air Monitoring Plans and act as on-site air monitors, providing real-time monitoring for particles and VOCs. Our experienced staff work with on-site construction staff to mitigate dust, and understand how to react when an action level, as identified in the CAMP, is reached. We work to assure the health and safety of site workers and the surrounding community is being continuously looked after.

Give Walden a call at (516) 624-7200 before beginning your ground intrusive construction or demolition project for soil sampling services, air monitoring services, or any of our other construction industry services.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.