Wildfires & Toxic Cleanup
I’ve been having many discussions about the recent wildfires in California and how they pose environmental concerns after the initial threat has passed. The fallout from wildfires is immediate although much of the trouble continues when clean up starts. The cleanup can cause a whole set of concerns that can be dealt with using some simple solutions.
The devastating fires left whole neighborhoods covered in debris and ash. This toxic debris and hazardous ash can contain potentially harmful levels of heavy metals which include antimony, chromium, arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and zinc. This assortment of hazardous debris can also contain electronic waste from computers, monitors, batteries and other toxic substances from, paints, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and asbestos.
Typical household items and building materials are usually safe and easily managed until disaster strikes and they become potential hazards when released into the environment.
These common building components and contents can have their composition completely changed when they are broken down or go through a fire. They can then be reduced to hazardous debris and toxic ash that is turned dangerous and pose risks during cleanup.
There are simple ways of controlling and containing the risks of typical building materials that have been turned hazardous.
The first step in any cleanup operation is to evaluate the situation, then contain and remove the hazardous debris. This includes the concentrations of toxic ash that has burnt down from an assortment of products. Wetting the debris and ash with water minimizes inhalation and release of toxic dust that can become airborne and cause secondary exposure. This process of wetting with straight water is only good until the water evaporates and the material again dries out. Wetting that same material with GLOBAL Encasement, Inc.’s MPE™ Multi Purpose Encapsulation not only holds it down while it is wet but also holds it in place after the water evaporates and the MPE™ cures. This allows clean up with less chance of toxic exposure and the rerelease of the hazardous materials.
This proven method of dust and hazardous material control is designed to minimize the potential impacts to people and the community.
This same control & containment method with MPE™ is used after other disasters such as Tornados, Hurricanes, Typhoons, Flooding and Hail where products and surfaces have been altered.
My experience in managing hazardous materials always goes directly to control and containment with Green Coating Encasement. This can be a long term, sustainable and renewable solution or a short term fix. Situations are usually a mixed bag that require a case by case evaluation and solution.