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Workers may face hazards during pipe repairs

Minnesota construction workers may be surprised to learn that a method of repairing water pipes that was once considered safe may actually result in toxic materials being thrown into the air. This was the finding of Purdue University researchers who studied seven sites that used the cured-in-place pipe method. It was once thought that plumes released during the CIPP process contained harmless water vapor.

However, research found that the plumes may actually contain compounds thought to cause cancer. Data shows that this process is used in 50 percent of all pipe repairs, which means that workers across the nation may be in danger. The researchers acknowledge that there is no known safe limit when it comes to potential exposure to chemicals used in the CIPP process. Furthermore, they also acknowledged that it was a great piece of technology.

To make such a repair, pipe fabric that is filled with resin is placed inside of the broken pipe. It is then cured with hot water or ultraviolet light to create a new pipe. Workers are encouraged to wear gloves that are resistant to chemicals when handling tubes or related materials. Workers are also encouraged to contact health officials if they smell unusual odors or feel sick near a CIPP site.

Individuals who are exposed to chemicals on the job may fall ill or experience physical health issues as a result of that exposure. Workers' compensation, although popularly associated with workplace accidents, covers occupational diseases as well. People who have become ill as a result of their workplace environment may want to meet with an attorney to see what benefits might be available.

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Law Office of David M. Bialke
7260 University Avenue NE
Suite 160
Fridley, MN 55432

Phone: 763-571-2410
Fax: 763-571-2549
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