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Health Hazards Faced by Contractors Using Acid Based Brick Cleaners

Brick cleaning with hydrochloric acid has been one of the most common and traditional ways of cleaning bricks since a very long time. While acid-based brick cleaners have been in use since decades, one issue people rarely address is the impact on the contractors. The dangerous and toxic acid is known to cause terrible health hazards to contractors, in addition to causing irreparable damage to the environment and to the façade of the building.


While hydrochloric acid is very effective in cleaning limescale and other remnants off buildings, they cause severe damage to natural stones and other materials in the surrounding area. In addition, many studies have reported the extreme dangers these acids pose to contractors who use them regularly. The US Environmental Protection Agency has reported that acid based brick cleaners, specifically hydrochloric acid, can cause occupational exposure resulting in swelling and spasm of the throat.

Continued exposure could cause suffocation, in addition to destruction of the tissue in the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract. Further, if the acid fumes or vapours are inhaled, contractors face burning in nose, throat, and the larynx, leading to irreversible damage, pain, inflammation and choking sensations. Acid based brick cleaners can, therefore, cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, upper respiratory tract edema, hoarseness, etc. among contractors.

In fact, some contractors use high concentrations of acid to clean stubborn stains, and this could lead to internal injuries such as corrosive burns, etc. In situations of prolonged exposure, the impact could be fatal.

When considering the environmental impact of cleaning bricks with hydrochloric acid, we see how the acid ends up damaging the paving of the house, the cement pointing, as well as the natural elements in the area. As a very strong and harsh acid, the dangerous acid ends up polluting the air, water and soil in the area where it is being used, making it imperative that contractors shift to a sustainable option, to support themselves as well as to mitigate environmental damage.

Acid based brick cleaners have been the norm so far, but nowadays contractors can access many alternatives to the harmful process of acid washing bricks.

BrickBuild System has introduced a highly effective, trustworthy and 100% biodegradable chemical wash by Brick Build System, BRICKWASH, which has become the choice of many builders and brick cleaners, as well as top Australian manufacturers. This environmentally friendly chemical wash helps contractors stay safe from the harmful impact of the dangerous acids while also maintaining the sanctity of your house. Highly recommended by top Australian Brick Manufacturers, BRICKWASH removes cement quickly and efficiently, with minimal damages to the contractors, the environment and the bricks.

If you are keen on having your bricks cleaned, and your contractor suggests cleaning bricks with hydrochloric acid, be sure to share this information with them and suggest that they switch to healthy alternatives instead as this will help protect them, the environment as well as your buildings.

Also, the BrickBuild System team is here to assist you with purchasing of Brick Wash and providing with the correct ratio, technical, and training support. Contact us through info@brickbuildsystem.com.au with the details of your requirements and we will get in touch with you right away!

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The BRICKBUILD™ System encourages sustainable safer chemicals that comply to Australian Building Standards. It is our goal to reduce risk to ensure a safer environment for contractors.

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PO Box 709
Torquay VIC 3228
info@brickbuildsystem.com.au