Green Around the Gills

Nearly a month after I developed a horrible hacking cough, it persists. The smell from the toxic sealant the construction crew used on the new sliding doors had almost dissipated this week. Then yesterday I returned from an outing around midday and was hit with a wall of chemicals as I entered the building. My knees buckled and I almost passed out. The hallway was worse, my suite intolerable. My eyes began to burn, I felt sick to my stomach, congestion and headache followed. I had left the sliding door open and the crew had applied sealant to the deck floor. The five gallon pails had appeared a few days ago, but there was no warning to residents that it would be applied. This is also a Tremco product, called Vulkem 350NF-S/L. Like Tremco 830, the door sealant, it also contains some nasty chemicals including toluene and crystalline silica. Once again I have consulted the Material Safety Data Sheets to find the long list of detrimental health effects with prolonged exposure. Once again, all sorts of safety measures are listed for the workers and warnings about using the product in well-ventilated areas. Tremco, supplier of a whole line of toxic products, boasts about their sustainability performance on their website of course. There is nothing sustainable about these products. It is the worst kind of greenwashing.

The other delightful discovery I made this week was that the construction company is storing the bags of asbestos-containing materials on site, right beneath my balcony window. The bags were falling out of the containment area; there were sticks, branches and other sharp objects lying about that could easily puncture the bags. WorkSafe BC asbestos procedures say the hazardous waste is supposed to be removed daily.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, who the hell is looking after the residents when a building is under construction?

Would like to know where this all fits in the Greenest City Action Plan.

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