ajwhelton OP t1_j5ygi7i wrote

Different contractors who use the same technology do things differently. Here in this emergency responder study we mention situations where contractors blew out plumbing traps that had water in them and caused indoor air contamination. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126832

One challenge is that these incidents are not widely reported because when something goes wrong folks generally want to resolve them and move on quickly and quietly. The problems don’t happen all the time by all crews and at all jobs.

There used to be a myth in industry that if you had water in p traps emissions would never enter the building… and that’s simply not true. P traps can help under certain conditions but that’s not all conditions and there’s evidence to indicate.

It comes down to the risk. The study I posted here in this comment provides some insight. The issue identified is wholly solveable for a fraction of the overall project cost.


ajwhelton OP t1_j5lds8b wrote

Agreed. If the gases were prevented from leaving the tube, captured for treatment, or generated at lesser quantities they may not be a problem.

Some municipalities are choosing “low VOC” to “no VOC” resins. They emit substantially less air pollution it seems.

No containment or capture/treatment is currently used.

Sometimes fans/ventilators are used in manholes, but they can’t always address all the gases that may be generated/exist and reach nearby bystanders.


ajwhelton OP t1_j5l13ie wrote

Thanks for the reply. Every link goes to a peer-reviewed study or publicly documented incident. The piece above highlights the newest two peer-reviewed studies.

These are

Other peer-reviewed studies invoked in the link above include:

  • Nature (Nature)
  • Elsevier Journal of Hazardous Materials (Elsevier)
  • Elsevier Journal of Cleaner Production (Elsevier)
  • Inhalation Toxicology (Taylor Francis)
  • Journal of the American Water Works Association (AWWA)
  • Environmental Science and Technology (ACS)
  • Environmental Science and Technology Letters (ACS)
  • Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts (RSC)
  • Environmental Pollution (Elsevier)

All the peer-reviewed studies in multiple journals are located at the Purdue University website https://engineering.purdue.edu/CIPPSafety.


ajwhelton OP t1_j5kzo74 wrote

GREAT QUESTION. It's not sewer gas. During the cooking of the plastic the new gases (styrene, acetone, methylene chloride, etc.) are created and then they are pushed into nearby buildings. The contractors sometimes apply more than 20 poundsof pressure per square inch. We reviewed incidents where gases blew out the water seals in p-traps (because contractors pump positive pressure). Here's that study: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126832. There are images and explanation there.

Gases generated during cooking can enter buildings otherways too, not just through sewers.