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April 22 - April 26, 2019

What environmental and safety precautions need to be taken when removing lead-based paint from the brick on a commercial building adjacent to the sidewalk in a dense urban business district when the removal method is chemical stripping followed by water blasting?

Selected Answers

From Lydia Frenzel of Advisory Council on April 25, 2019:
I agree with Michael Halliwell on the general concept. I assumed that the "stripper" would be troweled on, allowed to sit, and then "scraped off" with minimal air-borne exposure to general public. The residue is contained for off-site shipping. The water blasting would be pressure washing, which could have vacuum recovery so that there is minimal "run-off." Vacuum recovery exists for flat small surfaces, inside and outside corners. There is no reason to "get wet" if the correct equipment is on the job.

From Michael Halliwell of Thurber Engineering Ltd. on April 24, 2019:
Environmentally, you want the lead paint and the chemical stripper to be contained, collected and properly disposed of. From a safety side, you don't want your employees or the public being exposed to either (beyond the human health side, smells or getting wet will garner complaints from the public). With that as a basis, I'd say there are two options: contain it like you were working on a bridge over fish-bearing water (i.e. significant consequences if there is a release) or work it during off hours to minimize potential public exposure. For the latter, you still need to make sure you don't let the stripper or lead paint (and blast water) get loose, but you won't be under as intense scrutiny or as prone to receiving complaints from the public.

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Tagged categories: Paint and coatings removal; Quality Control

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