In this Issue:
The Warewithal : Site work during "The Beast from the East"
Focus: Groundwater remediation at a former gas works
Case Study : On site segregation of ACM
Staff News : Fit2Fit and 5th WDE anniversary for David and Corrienne
My current view from the office window is one of snow covered roads and roofs and it seems difficult to believe that British Summer time will shortly be starting. Site work has been challenging during "the Beast from the East" with arctic clothing needed, as shown below by Rowena Cameron.
In the news there has been new research undertaken on the effects on human health from lead. It would appear that there are measurable adverse effects even at very low concentrations with 1 in every 5 deaths in the US attributed to exposure from lead (which is similar to the deaths caused from smoking). Lead is known to reduce children's IQ and is potentially linked to increases in aggression and crime. It was previously added to petrol and lead and is also found in naturally occurring soils around the UK.
At WDE we always include lead in our suite of testing for soils and waters. The toxicity value for lead is treated differently to other chemicals of concern in that it is based on levels of lead in blood instead of intake. In 2002 the Agency adopted a minimal risk value of 10μg dL-1 resulting in an SGV of 450mg/kg (residential), which were then withdrawn in 2011 due to potential non threshold effects. CL:AIRE/Defra issued the C4SL in 2014 which adopted the "low level of toxicological concern" and proposed a C4SL of 82 to 210mg/kg for residential use. The C4SL are considered to be less cautious than the minimal risk levels and it will therefore be interesting to see if the UK adopts a precautionary approach post Brexit as is currently the case in the EU.
ACM Segregation- Park Royal
WDE were recently contracted to oversee the remedial excavation of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) at a demolition site in Park Royal. Under our supervision the ACM was segregated and disposed offsite, preserving the non-hazardous material for re-use on site. From an estimated total of 3,400m3 of material being excavated, 1,000m3 was disposed offsite as hazardous waste due to the presence of ACM, with the remaining 2,400m3 retained for re-use. Without having a WDE operative on site the client would have been required to send all materials offsite for disposal as hazardous due to Asbestos content.
A job like this required special safety equipment including a face fit, filtered mask and disposable coveralls to protect operatives. The air in the work area was monitored for asbestos fibres, both with air active pumps placed close to active work areas and with stationary dust monitoring stations placed at the edges of the works area. To keep dust levels to a minimum, areas of excavation were wetted down and excavated slowly to prevent release of materials into the air. No measurable fibre release was identified during these works.
Prepared by Jacob Fenton
All site staff have recently undergone Fit2Fit accredited face
fit testing for our vapour masks, which was undertaken by 3B training. This proved to be quite a challenge as it required us all to be clean shaven on the day, but more importantly to avoid tea and coffee beforehand!
A couple of staff have celebrated their 5 year anniversary with WDE; well done Corrienne Ainscough and David Hastings having reached this landmark.