Unfortunately, sandblasting is a helpful process that’s potentially harmful to the environment. Luckily, here are four methods that keep this service eco-friendly.
HVAC System Considerations
One component many people don’t consider when sandblasting is their HVAC system. These systems suck up debris, toxins, and other microscopic contaminants in indoor environments, eventually circulating them back into the air. Dust emissions from sandblasting are potentially hazardous to the human body when inhaled. Furthermore, toxic materials from sandblasted surfaces that enter HVAC systems can end up outside your building and in surrounding ecosystems, causing significant damage to natural flora and fauna. That’s why turning off your HVAC system and using localized ventilation when conducting sandblasting processes is essential.
Outdoor Sandblasting Considerations
HVAC systems are, obviously, less of a concern when sandblasting outdoors. However, it’s more likely that blasted materials will pollute surrounding environments. This is especially worrisome when the sandblasted material contains toxins, as in the case of old paint with high lead content. As such, outdoor sandblasting projects require specific preparations to protect the ecosystem. For example, tarps are often used to enclose the area and limit the spread of dust and other pollutants. Water sources are also tarped off to protect the well-being of surrounding wildlife and residents.
Alternatives To Sand
Traditionally, sandblasting involved sand. These days, we know the health dangers of sand dust inhalation, including the development of silicosis. As such, professionals now use many alternative materials for sandblasting, all of which are much safer for humans. As a bonus, some alternative materials are less impactful on the environment. For instance, granular crushed stones are reusable and recyclable and don’t have the same toxins that cause silicosis. Alternatively, you can simply use an abrasive object that’s native to your outdoor environment and won’t disrupt the natural ecosystem.
Most obviously, you must clean up your workspace following sandblasting services. A thorough walkthrough and inspection of equipment and the surrounding area is highly recommended, if not mandatory, to ensure the least environmental impact. Even more so, the collected waste must be disposed of properly, according to local government recommendations and regulations. Waste disposal companies are a great resource to use when throwing away collected pollutants, as they can offer helpful information and collection services.
These four sandblasting methods help keep this crucial process eco-friendly and safe for humans. If you’re looking for the most sustainable and effective sandblasting services in the Bay Area, consider the team at Professional Finishing. Contact us today for additional information on how we limit our environmental impact without sacrificing the quality of service.