Other Pollutants

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2.4.1 Environmental poisons

Environmental toxins pose a growing threat to both humans and ecosystems. There is also a lot of uncertainty as to the effects of even small concentrations. Included in this group are the heavy metals and various

Kindergarten in Flekkefjord, Norway, constructed in massive wood elements and heated with a small wood burning stove. The building is carbon neutral since the carbon stored in the construction more than compensates for the emissions of greenhouse gases orginating from production, maintenance and energy consumption during a user phase of 50 years. The building can also easily be deconstructed for re-erection elsewhere or re-used as single components. Gaia Lista, 2005.

Kindergarten in Flekkefjord, Norway, constructed in massive wood elements and heated with a small wood burning stove. The building is carbon neutral since the carbon stored in the construction more than compensates for the emissions of greenhouse gases orginating from production, maintenance and energy consumption during a user phase of 50 years. The building can also easily be deconstructed for re-erection elsewhere or re-used as single components. Gaia Lista, 2005.

organic compounds. Many of these substances are now in the food chains, spread by sea or air to the most remote places, and are in the process of becoming concentrated in groundwater all over the world. Climate change is almost sure to increase their dissemination.

The use of hazardous chemicals in the EU increased by 20% during the 1990s and stands now at around 8 kg per capita per day (Azar et al., 2002). The construction industry accounts for a large part of this, especially through additives in plastics, chemical treatment agents and paints (Tables 2.5 and 2.6).

2.4.2 Substances that reduce the ozone layer

Ozone-reducing substances are mainly the chlorinated fluorocarbons (CFCs) and have decreased since the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987. In construction, they are mainly used as foaming agents for plastics-based insulation materials. This is one area where substitution has proved to be fairly easy and economical. However, the HFCs that are often used now have also turned out to contribute to global warming and are up to 1300 times more potent than CO2 (see Table 9.5 in Chapter 9).

2.4.3 Acid substances

Substances that lead to acidification of the natural environment reduce the survival rates of a series of organisms. This group of substances include mainly sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) formed through burning fossil fuels and other industrial processes. Also release

Table 2.5 Important polluting substances in production and/or in finished products

Substance

(existing and suggested)

Possible occurence

1

Acetonitrile

75-05-8

20/21/22-36

Plastics

2

Acrolein

107-02-8

24/25-26-34-50

Plastics

3

Acrylic acid

79-10-7

20/21/22-35-50

Plastics, adhesives, paints

4

Acrylonitrile

107-13-1

45-23/24/25-37/38-41-43-51/53

Plastics

5

Aliphatic hydrocarbons (group) incl.

Pentane, Ethylene and Propylene

6

Amines (group), incl. Cyclohexamine and Dimethylethanolamine

7

Ammonia

7664-41-7

23-34-50

Plant products

8

Aromatic hydrocarbons (group) incl

Benzene, Styrene, Toluene and Xylene

9

Arsenic

-

23/25-50/53

Biocides

10

Asbestos

12001-28-4 etc.

45-48/23

Cements, gypsum

11

Benzene

71-43-2

45- 46-36/38-48/23/24/25-65

Plastics

12

Benzo(a)pyrene

50-32-8

43-45-46-60-61-50/53

Bitumen products (traces)

13

Benzylbutylphtalate BBP

85-68-7

61-62-50/53

Plastics

14

Bisphenol A

80-05-7

37-41-43-62

Plastics, adhesives, paints

15

Borax

1303-43-4

62-63

Mineral wool, biocides

16

Boric acid

10043-35-3

62-63

Biocides

17

Brominated hydrocarbons (group) incl diphenyl ethers

Hexabromocyclododecane, Tetrabromobisphenol A and Polybrominated

18

Bronopol

52-51-7

21/22-37/38-41-50

Paints

19

Butadiene

106-99-0

45-46

Plastics

20

Butanol

71-36-3

22-37/38-41-67

Paints

21

Cadmium

-

26-45-48/23/25-50/53-62-63-68

Plastics, paints, biocides

22

Calcium chloride

10043-52-4

36

Cements

23

Carbendazim

10605-21-7

46-60-61-50/53

Paints, plastics

24

Chlorinated hydrocarbons (group) incl.

Chloroparaffines and Dichloroethane

25

Chlorofluorocarbons CFC (group), see Table 9.5

26

Chloromethane

74-87-3

48/20-40

Plastics

27

Chloroparaffins CP

85535-84-8

40-50/53

Plastics

28

Chloroprene

126-99-8

45-20/22-36/37/38-48/20

Plastics, adhesives

29

Chlorothalonil

1897-46-6

26-37-40-41-43-50/53

Paints

30

Chrome

43-49-50/53

Cements, biocides

31

Colophony

8050-09-7

43

Plant products, paints, adhesives, cements

32

Copper

50/53

Metal sheeting, biocides

33

Cyclohexylamine

108-91-8

21/22-34

Plastics

â– Table 2.5 (Continued)

Substance

(existing and suggested)

Possible occurence

34

Decabromodiphenyl ether

1163-19-5

40

Flame retarder in plastics

35

Dibutylphthalate (DBP)

8474-2

22-50/53-61-62

Paints, adhesives

36

Dichloroethane

107-06-2

45-36/37/38

Plastics, paints, varnishes

37

Dichloromethane

75-09-2

40

Plastics

38

Dietylhexylphthalate (DEHP)

117-81-7

60-61

Plastics, paints

39

Dimethylethanolamine

108-01-0

20/21/22-34

Plastics

40

Endosulfane

115-29-7

24/25-36-50/53

Biocides

41

Epichlorohydrin

106-89-8

23/24/25-34-43-45

Plastics, adhesives, paints, varnishes

42

Ethyl benzene

100-41-4

20

Plastics

43

Ethylene

74-85-1

67

Plastics, adhesives

44

Folpet

133-07-3

20-36-40-43-50

Paints

45

Formaldehyde

50-00-0

23/24/25-34-40

Adhesives, cements

46

Hexabromocyclododecane HBCD

25637-99-4

43-50-33-26

Plastics

47

Hexachlorobenzene

118-74-1

45-48/25-50/53

Biocides

48

Hexane

110-54-3

38-48/20-62-65-67-51/53

Plastics

49

Hydrochloric acid

7647-01-0

34-37

Plastics

50

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons HCFC (group), see Table 9.3

51

Hydrofluorocarbons HFC (group), see Table 9.3

52

Hydrogen cyanide

74-90-8

26-50/53

Plastics

53

Hydrogen fluoride

7664-39-3

26/2728-35

Plastics, aluminium, glass, brick

54

Isocyanates (group) incl. Methylene diphenyl diisocyante and Toluene diisocyanate

55

Isothiazolinone (Kathon)

26172-55-4

23/24/25-34-43-50/53

Adhesives, paints

56

Lead

61-20/22-33,62-50/53

Mounting, paint

57

Limonene

138-86-3 etc

38-43-50/53

Paints

58

Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate MDI

101-68-8

20-36/37/38-42/43

Plastics, adhesives, varnishes

59

Methyl ethyl ketone

78-93-3

36-66-67

Paints

60

Methyl metacrylate

80-62-6

37/38-43

Adhesives, plastics

61

Methyl isobutyl ketone

108-10-1

20-36/37-66

Paints

62

Man made mineral fibres MMMF

38

Mineral wool

63

Naphthalene

91-20-3

22-40-50/53

Biocides

64

Nickel

740-02-0

23-40-43-48

Metal alloys

65

Nonylphenol

25154-52-3

62-63-22-34-50/53

Paints, varnishes, adhesives, cements

Table 2.5 (Continued)

Substance

(existing and suggested)

Possible occurence

66

Octabromodiphenyl ether

32536-52-0

61-62

Plastics

67

Octamethylcyklotetrasiloxane

556-67-2

53-62

Plastics

68

Organophosphates (group) incl.

Tris (2-chloroethyl)phosphat and Tributyl phosphate

69

Parathion

56-38-2

24-26/28-48/25-50/53

Biocides

70

Pentachlorophenol

87-86-5

24/25-26-36/37/38-50/53-40

Biocides

71

Phthalates (group) incl. Dibutylphthalat, Dietylhexylphthalate and Diisobutyl phthalate

72

Phenol

108-95-2

23/24/25-34-48/20/21/22-68

Plastics, adhesives

73

Phosgene

75-44-5

26-34

Plastics

74

Pentabromodiphenyl ether

32534-81-9

48/21/22-50/53-64

Plastics

75

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAH's (group) incl.

Benzo(a)pyrene and Naphthalene

76

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers PBDE's (group) incl. Pentabromodiphenyl ether

Decabromodiphenyl ether, Octabromodiphenyl ether and

77

Pyrethrin I & II

121-21-1 & 121-29-9 20/21/22-50/53

Biocides

78

Quartz, respirable dust

14808-60-7

48

Natural stones, cements

79

Resorcinol

108-46-3

22-36/38-50

Adhesives

80

Siloxanes (group) incl. Octamethylcyklotetrasiloxane

81

Styrene

100-42-5

20-36/38

Plastics

82

Turpentine

8006-64-2

20/21/22-36/38-43-51/53-65

Paints, varnishes

83

Tetrabromobisphenol A TBBPA

79-94-7

50/53

Plastics

84

Tetrahydrofuran

109-99-9

36/37

Plastics

85

Thallium

-

26/28-33-53

Metals, cements

86

Toluene

108-88-3

38-48/20-63-65-67

Paints

87

Toluene diisocyanate TDI

86-91-9

26-36/37/38-40-42/43- 52/53

Plastics, adhesives, varnishes

88

Tributyl phosphate TBP

126-73-8

22-38-40

Paints, adhesives, cements

89

Tributyltin oxide

56-35-9

25-48/23/25-21-36/38-50-53

Biocides

90

Triethanolamine

102-71-6

36-37-38

Cements

91

Tris (2-chloroethyl)phosphat

115-96-8

20-40-51/53

Plastics, adhesives

92

Vinyl chloride

75-01-4

45

Plastics

93

Xylene

106-42-3

20/31-38

Plastics, paints, varnishes

94

Zinc

-

50-53

Biocides, metal products

95

Zirconium

-

38-41-51/53

Paints

For interpretation of R-phrases, see Table 2.6. Compounds listed in this table are given a grey colou when they appear in the main text. 1 Note that toxic effect depend on dose. Particular substances can also boost the effect of others. Source: (Norwegian Pollution Control Authority, 2008.)

For interpretation of R-phrases, see Table 2.6. Compounds listed in this table are given a grey colou when they appear in the main text. 1 Note that toxic effect depend on dose. Particular substances can also boost the effect of others. Source: (Norwegian Pollution Control Authority, 2008.)

Table 2.6 Chemical risks to human health and the environment described in R-phrases, (EU Directive 67/548/EEC)

Classification

R-phrases

Carcinogenic effects, known or suspected

40-45-49

Mutagenic effects, known or suspected

46

Effects on reproduction, known or suspected

60-61-62-63-64

Very toxic

26-27-28

Serious irreversible and cumulative effects, known or suspected

33-39-48-68

Allergenic

42-43

Harmful/toxic by inhalation

20-23

Harmful/toxic if swallowed

22-25

Harmful/toxic in contact with skin and eyes

21-24-34-35-41

Irritating to eyes

36

Irritating to respiratory system

37

Irritating to skin

38-66

Repeated exposure may cause drowsiness and dizziness

67

Very toxic/toxic/harmful to aquatic organisms

51-52-53

Toxic to flora, fauna, soil organisms and bees

54-55-56-57

May cause long-term adverse effects in the environment

58

Dangerous for the ozone layer

59

Risks can also be expressed In combined phrases where the Individual phrases are connected with slashes, e.g. for Tetrahydrofuran.

Risks can also be expressed In combined phrases where the Individual phrases are connected with slashes, e.g. for Tetrahydrofuran.

of hydrogen chloride (HCl) from combustion of plastic waste leads to acidification. In England it is estimated that 8% of sulphuric emissions come from production and transport of building materials (Howard, 2000).

2.4.4 Formation of photochemical oxidants (low ozone)

Photochemical oxidants are generally very corrosive and usually appear in the form of smog. They are formed when a mixture of nitrogen oxides (NOX), dust and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are subjected to sunlight. Within the construction sector, the main source is combustion of fossil fuels. This includes both energy intensive production processes, and transport related emissions both at the raw materials stage and the transport of finished products. The global warming potential (GWP) of building materials is thus also assumed to provide a very good indication of their role in the formation of photochemical oxidants (Statens Forurensningstilsyn, 2002).

2.4.5 Eutrophicating substances

Excessive fertilization and the resulting overgrowth of weeds caused by eutrophicating substances in water systems are known as chemical oxygen depletion. Artificial fertilizers used in the cultivation of plants contain phosphorous compounds that are regarded as highly eutrophi-cating. Suspended organic matter in runoff water from industry can also lead to eutrophication. The main source from the building industry is NOX stemming from combustion of fossil fuels. The GWP of a material will thus be a good indicator for eutrophication (Strand, 2003).

2.4.6 Particles

Dust and particulates are produced during the extraction of many materials, various industrial processes, on building sites, as well as through incomplete combustion of solid fuel and oil. Dust can be chemically neutral but can also contain environmental toxins.

Polluting particles can also be a problem during the demolition phase. Organic chemistry produces a wide range of synthetic compounds that are difficult to degrade in the environment. Here the largest volumes come from the plastics industry. More and more plastics are used in buildings. These are ultimately broken down into persistent particles. In parts of the Pacific, there are now six times as much of these small plastic particles as plankton. A baleen whale will thus ingest more plastic than plankton. Plastic has been shown to be present in food chains in the Antarctic (Browne etal., 2007). The effects of this are not known, but in addition to the risk of stomach blockage in certain species, many plastics contain toxic additives including heavy metal-based fungicides and bromated flame retardants that can be absorbed and concentrated in most living organisms.

2.4.7 Genetic pollution

Genetically manipulated plant species are now being widely introduced into agriculture and forestry in an effort to increase production and improve resistance to things like cold, mould and insects. The goals are often environmentally legitimate; for example, to reduce the use of pesticides. But it must still be regarded as hazardous. Generally, any change that occurs in a natural species that gives them a defensive advantage also affects that species' environment, and might lead to the extinction of other species. Ingesting of genetically modified food has also been shown to cause changes in the blood and kidneys in tests on rodents (Achear, 2006).

2.4.8 Nanoparticles

Nanotechnology involves synthetic structures of a size less than 100 nanometres (1 nanometre = 10~9 metre). One goal is to develop lighter materials and active materials with special properties, including those for use in the building industry. For example, self-cleaning materials coated with a thin film of nanoparticles such as windows have already been available on the market for several years. Similar products are being developed for treating concrete, and applications are likely to increase rapidly. Contamination of ecosystems with nanoparticles has been shown to involve a range of possible risks both for humans and the environment (Meili, 2007). Brain damage in fish, reduced germination in crops, heart and respiratory diseases in humans, are among the suspected effects.

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