From lead to lead
Despite all the innovations in construction, the old familiar lead turns out to be a very environmentally friendly building material. That is the outcome of TNO (the Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research) research into the environmental effects of lead in construction. In particular, the sustainability and the high degree to which lead can be reused (lead is 100% recyclable time after time) contribute to the good environmental performance. These results unnerve the persistent misconception that lead is worse for the environment than alternatives. The opposite turns out to be true.
TNO conducted various studies into the environmental effects of lead in construction. For example, it was investigated what the consequences are of so-called ‘run-off’ in the case of lead that has been exposed to the outside air. “The study shows that there is no risk to the environment” Even if roofs of buildings are disconnected from the sewer system and the runoff water ends up directly in the environment, there is no environmental risk, according to the conclusions of TNO.
The study also measured the environmental effects of various lead alloys. This shows that the run-off can be three to four times lower when a lead alloy containing 0.05% copper or 0.1% tin is used.
You can obtain the entire study for free via the following link Lead in construction. how about now?
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Health & Safety
While working with lead, proper precautions are advised. Lead can be harmful to your health when not properly handled with. Use a mask and gloves whenever you handle lead.
Ensure that lead waste is kept separate from other materials ready for collection. Lead dust needs to be removed by industrial vacuumcleaner and stored in a closed compartment.
Scrap lead should not be transported in open vehicles and the vehicles should be thoroughly cleaned after transport.
Thanks to a unique combination of properties and process characteristics, lead is the only suitable material in many industrial, medical and construction applications. The unique recyclable material plays an essential role for EU society and its economy. Lead Matters is a campaign that captures this essence, developed by Lead REACH Consortium PbRC; an initiative managed by the International Lead Association ILA.
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