Hazardous Waste


Hidden hazardous wastes are being found at construction sites. These toxic chemicals can be very dangerous. Workers who havent been trained or given special gear to protect themselves should not work around these wastes.

These problems are becoming more common. Workers from Local 210 in Buffalo, N.Y., got sick from toxic chemicals found on a construction site. They were left from a factory that once was there. In Boston, members of Local 22 found thick, blue-green ooze while working at a construction site. At both sites, work was stopped until special procedures were put in place.


Hazardous wastes can react when exposed to air, water or other chemicals. They can catch fire; injure your skin or eyes or cause sickness for you and your family! If you take any wastes home on your work clothes.

At the site, watch out for:

•Drums or storage tanks,
•Buried containers and debris, 
•Discolored soil or water,
•Or strange odors

If you feel nauseous or light-headed, get a skin rash or feel sick and dont know why, your body may be reacting to a hazardous waste. Pay attention to the warning signs.


If you suspect you may be exposed to a hazardous waste, tell your steward or supervisor immediately. Ask for another assignment until the hazard is removed. If you feel sick or think the materials still may be dangerous, call your business agent. Dont take a chance.

Take extra care. Wash completely each time before you eat, smoke, drink or go home.

Do not put your work clothes in the family wash if they appear to be contaminated.

*Sometimes lead in the paint on the bridge or other structure that is being sandblasted or torched can poison you. See the Fund health alert in Lead Poisoning.