|Clean & Green|
|Clean & Green|
Being in the waste industry tends to make companies sensitive to the environmental problems we all face and the importance of finding a sustainable operation and business model.
The Huge Risks of Using Cement Based Covers
Although cement is made of materials found in nature, the material production process involves concentrating components that can ultimately pose significant environmental and health risks.
Cement is not the ideal material for making daily covers. Until just a short while ago, regulators regarded the kiln dust as inert - not capable of leaching contaminants into its surroundings.
Today we know thatâ€™s not the case at all, and stricter standards now include the use of liners and capping for containing this dust. Cement based covers expose your workers to dangerous airborne materials both when mixing the product and after the product has dried (it tends to crack and dust when moving equipment on top of it).
One of the obvious health risks is the pH level of cement and kiln dust, typically in the 11-13 range. Prolonged use or adding kiln dust as a cover material can have adverse affects on a sites gas production, lechate, and the health and safety of its employees.
Small concentrations of toxins can be found in the various raw materials and fuels necessary in making cement. In the production process they tend to reach higher concentrations - especially in the kiln dust.
While high pH readings have been the key short-term concern for health officials, the presence of toxic metals in the seepage - particularly mercury - makes cement based products an even bigger long term hazard. Exposure to high levels of mercury causes permanent damage to the brain, kidneys and developing fetus.
The risk to your employees, the inherent complex chemical reactions in a landfill and potential exposure of toxins to neighboring lands, people and animals makes cement based covers a poor choice at best - and DEFINITELY NOT a green or environmentally sound cover solution.