Types Of Toxic Substances in Building Materials

At Benchmark Environmental Engineering, we serve San Jose, San Francisco, and throughout the Bay Area testing for hazardous materials including different types of toxic substances in building materials. Our priority is always your safety. Unfortunately, sometimes the places you spend the most time (at home, school or the office) can be hazardous to your health. Property managers that are doing Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) need to be aware of environmental worksite hazards and test before construction begins.

Dangerous Chemicals, Built-In

It all starts with what the buildings in your life are made of. Even if the news is full of stories about new green materials and construction best practices, these may not be what’s within the walls of your older home. Just some of the toxic chemicals commonly found in building materials include:

  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Perfluorinated Compounds, Including PFOA
  • Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs)
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
  • Halogenated Flame Retardants (HFRs)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Chromated Copper Arsenic (CCA)
  • Phthalates Like PVC

While some of these substances may sound familiar to you, some probably sound more like something in a science journal. The chemicals they describe are much more common than they sound. PFOA’s, for example, have common names like Teflon and Scotchguard which you might recognize. They are regularly used in your cookware, draperies, and carpeting.

The Effects Of Toxic Construction Chemicals On You

So, what’s so wrong with a few hard to pronounce chemicals floating around here and there? First of all, they are everywhere. In everything from lighting to paints, caulking, and other sealants, to flooring, wiring, and insulation, they pour toxins into the air you breathe. These toxins can mimic hormones, disrupt fetal development, cause allergies and asthma and even cause cancer.

Safer New Buildings & Renovations

Whether you are starting a new construction project or renovating an old one, it’s best for your safety and those around you to know what you’re putting in the air. Maybe you are a building manager getting complaints of illnesses or a company owner seeing way too many employee sick days, we can help. Let us test the indoor air quality of your school, older property, or newly constructed home for safety.

We Test To Protect You

Testing for the different types of toxic substances in building materials can help you protect yourself and those you live or work with. You can count on Benchmark Environmental Engineering to help you uncover existing problems or help you prevent future ones. If mold, water quality, or environmental hazards are your main concern, we can help there too. Contact us today for professional environmental testing at your San Jose, San Francisco or other Bay Area property today.

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