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Comparison Blastox to Enviroprep

  • Posted by: Keith Gabbard
  • Category: Abrasive Knowledge

Most industrial infrastructures such as bridges, refineries, pipeline, etc. that were coated before 1990 will have some level of lead-based paint on the carbon steel.  During that earlier period, Lead paint systems were not only economical but were among the most effective corrosion control systems available.

Today however, removal of lead-based systems is highly regulated by OSHA and by EPA due to known Lead health hazards.  The costly containment, PPE precautions and disposal of Lead systems are all significant added costs to industrial repaints contaminated with Lead-Based paint systems.

One way to mitigate the added costs is to address the disposal of Hazardous Waste.  Currently there are 2 different mechanisms utilized for Lead Abatement – the goal of which is to change the extremely costly disposal of Lead Waste from Hazardous Waste to nonhazardous waste which is stable for disposal in a Subtitle D regular landfill.

Most contractors have used Blastox additive as a Lead Abatement system whereby Blastox blended Abrasive (usually at 15% by weight) is purchased from a Licensed Abrasive Blender.  The Blastox chemistry performs its function when the blended Abrasive is used for Abrasive Blast removal of Lead-Based coatings.  When the Blastox system works, the Waste Stream will be reduced to < 5 mg/L of leachable lead, that allows for disposal in a Subtitle D regular landfill in most municipalities.

The second method of Lead Abatement for industrial structures uses Enviroprep Premium.  In this scenario, Enviroprep is applied to the Lead contaminated substrate prior to Abrasive Blast removal.  Enviroprep chemistry then renders the Waste Stream as nonhazardous and – when used properly – will render the Waste Stream to < 5 mg/L of leachable lead.

Let’s compare the 2 methods for an arbitrary project which contains 28,600 sf of lead-based paint on structural steel.

For the Blastox Lead Abatement system at the 28,600 sf project, let’s assume:

  1. Delivered Abrasive Cost $450 per ton [$275 /Ton for Abrasive + $175 /Ton for Blastox Blending] – (or $.23 /lb)
  2. Consumption Rate of 8 lbs/sf of Blastox blended Abrasive for total Consumption of 114 tons (or $1.84 /sf)
  3. Labor to Blast assuming 180 sf/hr at $60 /hr (or $.33 /sf)
  4. Nonhazardous Waste Disposal of 114 tons spent abrasive at $110 per ton = $12,500 (or $.44 /sf)
  5. Total Blastox Surface Prep Cost for 28,600 sf project: $ 74,646

For the Enviroprep Lead Abatement system at the 28,600 project, let’s assume:

  1. Delivered Abrasive Cost $275 per ton (or $.14 /lb)
  2. Consumption Rate of 7 lbs/sf of non-Blastox blended Abrasive for total Consumption of 100 tons (or $.98 /sf)
  3. Labor to Blast assuming 200 sf/hr at $60 /hr (or $.30 /sf)
  4. Enviroprep cost of $35 per gal applied at 100 sf/gal (or $.35 /sf)
  5. Application cost for Enviroprep is approx $.15 /sf
  6. Nonhazardous Waste Disposal of 100 tons spent abrasive at $110 per ton = $11,000 (or $.38 /sf)
  7. Total Enviroprep Surface Prep Cost for 28,600 sf project: $ 61,776

Surface Prep cost without Blastox or Enviroprep for 28,660 sf project:

  1. Delivered Abrasive Cost $275 per ton (or $.14 /lb)
  2. Consumption Rate of 7 lbs/sf of non-Blastox blended Abrasive for total Consumption of 100 tons (or $.98 /sf)
  3. Labor to Blast assuming 200 sf/hr at $60 /hr (or $.30 /sf)
  4. Hazardous Waste Disposal (with Lead Based paint residue) of 100 tons spent abrasive at $1000 (this represents a minimum estimated charge) per ton for HazWaste Disposal = $100,000 (or $3.50 /sf)
  5. Total Surface Prep Cost including HazWaste disposal for 28,600 sf project: $ 136,708

To summarize, for a Lead-Based system removal of an Industrial project consisting of 28,600 sf – and using assumptions above, the alternative Surface Prep systems are as follows:

  • Using Blastox at 15% blend the total cost is: $ 74,646
  • For the Enviroprep Surface Prep the total cost is: $ 61,776
  • All compared to just Abrasive Surface Prep with HazWaste disposal: $ 136,708

One word of caution – a contractor would never want to generate the quantity of HazWaste associated with a project this size.  If that occurs, said contractor would have to register with EPA as a Large Quantity Generator.  Trust me, this is not a place any contractor wants to be.

Given the assumptions listed, the Enviroprep Lead Abatement system will be around 20% less compared to the Blastox.

Keep in mind that Blastox does NOT contribute to the blast capabilities in the blend – only adds 15% weight.  So, we will need to buy 15% more Abrasive compared to the Enviroprep.

In addition, remember that Blastox can only be purchased at Authorized Blending facilities – so some Abrasives will have to be purchased at specific processing plants – sometimes will increase freight costs.

And, we will consume around 15% more Blastox blended Abrasive per sf (compared to pure Abrasive for the Enviroprep Surface Prep) because Blastox does not contribute to the removal of coating or corrosion.  In addition, we will end up with 15% more weight in the Waste Stream as well.

It is fair to say that each project will present unique parameters that may change the overall relative costs.   However, it is our experience that many of the Lead Abatement Industrial Projects can be more competitively bid with Enviroprep compared to Blastox blended Abrasive..

Please contact us on you next Lead Abatement project to review both systems as TCR Blast Abrasives distributes Enviroprep and Blastox blended Abrasive.

Keith Gabbard
Author: Keith Gabbard
Keith Gabbard has been helping blast shops and industrial painting contractors for almost 40 years and he understands the keys to improving blasting systems that can make a huge difference in your performance and profits.

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