The construction site is an industrial operation guided by OSHA safety and health recommendations; whereas the interior office environment is a non-industrial environment guided by levels of acceptability that are at least 1/10 of the acceptable OSHA levels. When the two areas co-exist during renovation, risk to office occupants, who are not self-selected to tolerate regular exposure to these construction stressors and contaminants, increases. Many materials that are commonly used by the construction industry are established, probable or suspected carcinogens.

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Examples include:

Established Carcinogens
Beechwood and oak wood dust
Nickel compounds
Tar, pitch
Zinc chromates

Probable Carcinogens
Chromium compounds
Diesel engine emissions

Suspected Carcinogens
Diphenylmethane-4'4 diisocyanate

Uses or Where Encountered
Joinery, circular saw on building sites
Welding electrode
Road works
Old coatings

Road works
Diesel engine emissions
Wood protection
Water treatment

Stripper, solvent
Plywood, particle board, paneling1

Occupational Medicine: State of the Art Reviews - Vol. 10, No. 2, April 1995. Philadelphia, Hanley & Belfus, Inc.

"Sick Building Claims", King O'Neal, Ryan ,and Johnson, The Construction Lawyer, January 2000.

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