George C. Keefe is the CEO & Founder of GLOBAL Encasement Inc. (GEI), an international, Pro-Planet corporation that provides green encasement solutions all over the world. Having experienced that at most jobsites, there was an overreaction to asbestos, he developed green encasement coating systems for application over asbestos and lead based paint in the early 1990s. Keefe spoke to Buildotech on the requirement for Green coatings to manage-in-place toxic and hazardous building materials.
Asian Lead Elimination Project studied 250 different paints in India across 147 brands. The report found that paints sold in India have the highest concentration of lead across all seven Asian countries surveyed, with an average lead concentration of 22,800 parts per million
As per the report most paints sold in India have the highest lead concentration. What are the possible reasons for the same?
Lack of legislation is one of the key reasons. India follows voluntary standards with lead contained material and there is no ban on usage of lead based paints. The reasons for rampant use of lead based paints are:
• Lead pigments are marginally cheaper
• Easy and widely produced
• Widely available
• Durable, can withstand repeated washings/cleaning
• Change in production line would mean heavy investment on new line, leading to large Capex.
Another reason is the lack of awareness on the effects of lead exposures. Studies on lead have been conducted since the early twentieth century with many countries having banned lead based paints prior to World War II. Symptoms and signs of lead poisoning are:
• Development delay, decline in mental functioning
• Learning difficulties, Irritability
• Anti social behavior
• Joint pain, muscle pains
• Loss of appetite/weight loss
• Sluggishness and fatigue
• Hearing loss
• Memory loss
• Miscarriage or premature birth in pregnancy
• In several cases seizure, coma and death
• Learning difficulties (Reduced IQ) and slowed growth in newborns
What is the Company strategy for the Indian market
Information about the hazards of lead based paint is well known and all houses or buildings built in India have some level of lead paint that needs abatement by encasement/encapsulation to keep the environment and occupant’s safe. Educating the general public and making them aware of the risk of lead poisoning will be the best way to start and this will ensure the general public drive and demand for the change. Once this is achieved, lead paint abatement by using encasement method is sure to catch on.
In many cases, removal of lead based paint is not feasible from a physical or economic standpoint. In such scenarios, reduction by encasement is a widely accepted and trusted technique worldwide. GEI green coatings can also be used instead of conventional paints to protect the building, occupants and environment. The Company has recently completed its first project in India – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Nashik and has plans to set up its operations in the country.
The Company is looking at promoting all its products through its local Indian distributor in the Indian market as there is a demand for quality green products across the country.
Once people are aware of the benefits of GEI’s Green Coating systems and how they can ensure safety and sustainability of buildings, communities and people they are sure to choose safe GEI’s green products. Currently the company is working with its local Indian distributor and will make all products available in the market by the end of this year.
Although there is no legislation governing the removal or encapsulation of asbestos containing materials (ACM). Glaxo Smith Klins took the first step in terms of global sustainability and community welfare, by encapsulation all their asbestos roofing in Nashik plant.
Challenges: GSK had asbestos containing roofs and ceilings that needed to be sealed to prevent leaking or exposure. Some of the facilities operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the most difficult part of the task was to seal the surfaces without any disruption building downtime.
• Seal in asbestos containing materials roof & ceiling panels
• Zero VOC Coatings
• Little to no surface Preparation
• No generation, transportation &
storage of hazardous waste
• Waterproof the roof and prevent Future Leaks
• Turn the roofing solar reflective, energy savings, EPA energy star rated
• UL- Listed waterproofing, durable and breathable
• Sustainable and long-lasting
• Cost effective
• Noninvasive, no building downtime or relocation fees
• Renewable solution with 20 years warranty
The application of green coatings instantly stabilized all the interior and exterior surfaces and lock down any dust and fibers. After broom sweeping GEI’s MPE was used to locked down any remaining dust then both GEI’s Seam Tape and Globe Caulk were used to fill holes and bridge gaps; after which ‘Your Last Coat’ was applied to seal in the asbestos for long term protection. This system waterproofed the roof and created an EPA Energy Star solar reflective surface that can keep the building cooler; reducing the amount of air-conditioning needed, saving both energy use and money.