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Dangers associated with water pipe repair technique

Pennsylvania plumbing construction workers may be interested to know that a frequently used method to fix water pipes can emit dangerous chemicals into the air. Researchers at Purdue University believe that the process should reviewed to accurately determine the hazards it presents to workers, the environment and the general public.

The cured-in-place pipe repair procedure requires placing a tube composed of fabric and resin inside of damaged pipe. Hot water, ultraviolet rays or high-pressure steam is then used to cure the insertion and form a new plastic pipe. For the study, researchers conducted studies on the air at multiple steam-cured, cure-in-place pipe repair facilities in California and Indiana. Two of the facilities handled sanitary sewer-pipes, and the other five handled storm-water pipes. The results of the tests indicated that the processes used at the plants released chemical clouds containing organic compounds and vapors, including carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. The results disputed the assumption that the plume was made of simply steam and that the technology was safe.

The cure-in-place pipe repair method is responsible for half of the water pipe repairs in the nation, according to a Purdue University assistant professor of engineering. He believes that the short-term and long-term effects the exposure to the chemical cloud on workers and the public should be determined as soon as possible. Technological and operational changes should be initiated to provide protection for the workers and the public if it is determined that the chemical exposure has negative aftereffects.

People who become ill after being exposed to toxic materials at a job site might be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. These can include the payment of medical bills and in some cases the replacement of a percentage of lost wages. Many victims of occupational diseases find that having the assistance of an attorney is helpful when preparing and submitting the required claim documentation.

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