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Dirty Air in Construction Site is Bad For Your Heart Too

It’s not just bad for the lungs.

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Construction site air quality


We all know dirty air from construction, industrial and commercial pollution is one of the leading causes of lung ailments.

Lung cancer has been linked to a long-term exposure from it. However, in a recent study, results show that Americans who were exposed to air pollution may develop heart diseases.

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Deposits were accumulated in the arteries faster compared to those Americans who live in a cleaner environment.

The study is called Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA Air) and it was conducted for ten years.

Over 6,000 people living in six US states participated in the study. Those who were exposed to air pollution had faster progression of atherosclerosis. It is the hardening of arteries and causes heart attacks.

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Calcium deposits were observed in the arteries using CT scans. Fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, nitrogen dioxide and black carbon were also measured based on the results.

“The study provides important new information on how pollution affects the main biological process that leads to heart disease. The evidence supports worldwide efforts to reduce exposures to ambient air pollutants.

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This was the most in-depth study of air pollution exposures ever applied to a large study group specifically designed to examine influences on cardiovascular health,” said Dr. Joel Kaufman, director of MESA Air.

This study was published in The Lancet a few years back. It was noted to being “exemplary” as it could help people act on their plans to control air pollution everywhere

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Pollution Prevention Measures

There are many chemicals used during the construction process, many of which can be quite harmful to both your contract workers and the surrounding environment if not handled correctly.

Therefore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend that you design “install, implement and maintain effective pollution prevention measures” during the course of a project, to ensure pollutants are discharged correctly and safely with limited impact on the environment.

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The rules maintain that you must ensure you minimize the “discharge of pollutants” from any equipment you use on site, this includes site vehicles, wheel wash water, and associated chemicals. The rules also say that you should limit the “exposure of building materials, products, construction wastes” and any other related materials to both “precipitation and to storm water”.

The EPA rules stipulate, however, that this requirement is unnecessary in cases where there isn’t a risk of pollutants infecting surrounding waters or the atmosphere surrounding your construction site.

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Engr. Amber Rose Watson
Chic, writer and electrical engineer from Ontario Tech Univ. Working at Canadian Solar. GineersNow NorthAm correspondent since 2016. Message me on FB


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