Construction workers have been building new houses in Winnipeg’s downtown since the mid-2000s, but a new report claims they have also been using dangerous chemicals.
In a report commissioned by the City of Winnipeg and released on Thursday, the city’s environmental health department found that construction workers have tested positive for four different chemicals, including the neurotoxic benzene, which can cause liver and lung damage.
While benzene is not considered a health risk by the World Health Organization, it is considered a carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, which is responsible for regulating the use of the chemical.
The report found that benzene levels in residential buildings were higher than in the general population, and that workers had been exposed to the toxic chemical more frequently.
“The results of our review indicate that workers in Winnipeg have been exposed over the past decade to benzene-based paints, varnishes and cleaning agents,” the report says.
“Benzene-related exposures have increased at an alarming rate in recent years, and have been found in residential construction sites and in some industrial sites.”
The report also found that workers are at greater risk of getting exposure to benzol-based cleaners and products, as well as the neurotoxin cadmium.
The city’s new report comes as construction is expected to be the subject of a series of new rules that are set to take effect in the coming weeks.
According to the city, it will ban the use and sale of a wide range of toxic chemicals and will require companies to notify workers of their exposure.
The new rules, which will come into effect on April 1, will also ban the building of new buildings on land where benzene has been found to be present.
“These new rules will be a key element of the city of Winnipeg’s commitment to reduce the environmental impact of its development,” the city said in a statement.
The move to ban the city from using benzene as building material comes after an independent report commissioned last year by the city found that the city was not doing enough to curb the spread of the neurotoxins in its construction.
The team that led the study, led by University of Manitoba environmental health professor Jonathan Rees, also found a lack of enforcement, including a lack on enforcement of existing regulations, and an “unclear” relationship between the levels of benzene and the levels found in the building materials workers were using.
The latest report says the city should take action to limit the use, use and distribution of benzolates and the chemicals found in them, as benzolites are known to have health risks.
The use of benzolic acid is a widely used cleaning product.
It has been used for centuries as a sealant, as a finishing agent and in a variety of other uses, the report said.
The study also found benzolite levels in the air and water were highest in residential and commercial buildings, but there was no evidence that benzolitic levels were increasing in commercial buildings.
The department says it is aware of three incidents in the last six months where benzolization was detected in building materials.
The federal government, which regulates the use as a construction product, said in May that it is concerned about the safety of benzyl alcohol, a cleaning agent used to seal building materials, which has been linked to the deaths of at least two people in the United States.
The US Environmental Protection Department is conducting a multi-year investigation into the safety and health of benzlacetam, a product used in the manufacture of construction and roofing products.