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Tox Town - Environmental health concerns and toxic chemicals where you live, work, and play
Constructionen español

Why is construction a concern?

More than nine million U.S. construction workers build and maintain houses, roads, workplaces, and other projects. They include brick masons, carpenters, drywall installers, iron workers, plumbers, roofers, and welders. Electricians, engineers, and painters also work in construction. They can all be exposed to health and safety risks on construction sites. 

Workers may be exposed to harmful chemicals that are in construction materials, or are released during construction. Chemicals in construction materials include arsenic preservatives, lead coatings, and solvents. Demolition construction may expose workers to older insulation materials such as asbestos, PCBs and formaldehyde

Construction equipment may run on diesel fuel. Diesel emissions may expose workers to carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds

Construction workers may be exposed to dust that contains very small pieces of crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is found in concrete, masonry, sandstone, rock, paint, plaster, and shingles. If the silica dust builds up in lungs, it can cause an often fatal lung disease called silicosis. 

Safety concerns in construction include falls, vehicle accidents, electrocution, machinery, falling objects, noise, and trench cave-ins.

Web Links from MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine)
Eye Injuries
Fungal Infections
Occupational Health

More Links
Construction eTool (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Construction home page (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Construction Safety (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Construction. Haz-Map Occupational Health Info (National Library of Medicine)
Highway Work Zone Safety (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Scaffolding eTool (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Silica Advisor (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Steel Erection eTool (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Trenching and Excavation (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Wood Dust (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Woodworking eTool (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

Chemicals in Construction
Are these chemicals in MY environment?
Carbon Monoxide
Natural Gas
Particulate Matter
Polychlorinated Biphenyls
Volatile Organic Compounds

Last Updated: October 22, 2008

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