FOCUS ON CARBON MONOXIDE FUMES AFTER THE BLASTING.
St-Romuald, March 2, 2009.
We are pleased to answer questions from various media, therefore we send you this release.
This is the second incident with CO fumes to occur one month. On January 30, 2009, two families from Beauport have been inconvenienced by these gases. This event was extremely difficult to predict. In 25 years there have been only 5 or 6 incidents reported so far. No regulation or official procedure appear in the security code. Following this incidence in Beauport recommendations were made like placing the CO detectors in the surrounding residences.
We, at Forage Dynami-Tech, have since the events in Beauport informed all our blasters and senior staff of the dangers of carbon monoxide. The blasting trench where we replace the existing pipes are particularly monitored.
In Loretteville on February 24, 2009, two homes were evacuated late evening. Both houses had been visited by our responsible “inspection-team”, and a monoxide detector had been installed in the presence of the owner in all the residences.
It was these detectors that alarmed the residents.
The event in Beauport has shown us that despite the lack of buried pipes on the work site, the gas has taken faults in the rock to migrate to one or more drains of homes closest to the blasting site without affecting them and then infiltrate and contaminate the residences 150 meters away.
How far can these gases spread? How long can they stay in the ground? How far should we install carbon monoxide detectors in residences? How many detectors are necessary per house?
In our opinion, after having those 2 incidents, there are probably many people across the country who have been inconvenienced by carbon monoxide in the past without understanding their symptoms. The detectors sound an alarm at 30 ppm. Fire departments evacuate homes at 35 ppm. At 35 ppm, there is no effect within 8 hrs. At 200 ppm a mild headache occurs after a period of 2 to 3 hrs. Generally monoxide alerts are rare because very few residences have detectors.
We are sorry for the inconvenience. We are a professional and responsible company and our staff is qualified and competent. Forage Dynami-Tech has an extensive experience for blasting in urban areas for over 10 years. Load control and the methods used are applied vigorously to avoid projections of rock and vibration control is applied that could affect buildings or infrastructure near blasting areas. The gas control is a new problem and we quickly put in place new protocols to address this problem.
Philippe Paradis, Forage Dynami-Tech