Friday, November 12, 2010

HAZMAT? What's That?



A few weeks ago, the second and third graders learned that demolition begins long before excavating machines start taking chunks out of the buildings. Old buildings contain hazardous materials (HAZardous MATerials=HAZMAT). Asbestos isn't dangerous when it's in solid form as a tile on the floor, for example. But when it gets broken up and you can breathe in the dust, it can make you sick. So before the crews can tear down the buildings they have to get rid of these dangerous materials.

When they break up the stuff and get rid of it, they don't want to get sick either. So they wear masks that filter out any dust. They also wear suits so they don't get any of it on their clothes. Goggles and gloves keep their eyes and hands protected. And everyone must always wear a hard hat on the construction site, of course!

Once the hazmat crew is finished, an inspector comes to make sure the area is truly free of dangerous materials. Another step finished on the way to demolition.