In the world of construction and renovation projects, air quality plays a central role in the health and safety of everyone involved. During the construction and renovation phases, concentrations of dust particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can significantly exceed the limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Especially in old buildings constructed with older materials and methods, there are often health risks.
In the past, materials that are now considered harmful to health were used in the construction of buildings in Germany. These include wood preservatives such as PCN, dioxin, and Lindane, which were used in wood preservatives. These substances can cause serious health problems, including seizures, vomiting, concentration issues, and irritated mucous membranes. Some of these toxins are still detectable in old buildings.
One particularly dangerous wood preservative was Xylamon BV, which contained Lindane and PCP. These substances are known to be carcinogenic, and until the late 80s, they were mandatory in certain construction projects in Germany. Another old construction material issue is asbestos, which was widespread in the past and is now banned due to its carcinogenic properties. During renovation work, there is a risk of encountering asbestos, especially in roofing and facade materials.
During renovation or construction work in older buildings, several health risks need to be considered:
- Toxic Mold: When removing old walls or materials, there is a risk of encountering toxic mold, which can cause severe health problems.
- Air Pollutants: During construction, dust particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can occur in dangerously high concentrations, endangering the health of workers and residents.
To protect against these dangers, protective measures and precautions are necessary:
- Use of Air Purifiers: Modern air purifiers with HEPA filters and activated carbon filters can help remove dust particles and VOCs from the air, improving air quality.
- Protective Clothing: Workers should wear protective clothing, respiratory masks, and gloves, especially when working with potentially harmful materials.
- Pollutant Measurements: In case of suspected pollutants or health complaints, measurements should be carried out to determine the causes and take appropriate countermeasures.
- Use of Environmentally Friendly Materials: In renovation projects, environmentally friendly materials should be used to minimize exposure to harmful substances.
Improving air quality in construction and renovation projects is crucial to protect the health of those involved and ensure the long-term integrity of the building. Air purifiers play an important role in providing an effective solution to address these challenges.