Get the Facts: Demolition Dust
April 13, 2020
On April 11th, Hilco Redevelopment Partners demolished the smokestack at the former Crawford Coal Plant, sending dust into nearby residential areas. This excessive dust leaving the site is a violation of state pollution laws and the City of Chicago is taking action to hold Hilco accountable and ensure the health and safety of residents.
This fact sheet was prepared by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to provide residents information to protect themselves from demolition-related dust.
How can I reduce my exposure to the demolition dust within my home?
The dust, or soil contaminated with this dust, may get into your home. Like any dust, it can settle on the floors, counters and other items, including children’s toys. Here are a number of ways everyone can reduce their exposure within their homes:
- Regularly wet-mop floors and wipe down counters and window sills using a household cleaner. Do not use bleach.
- Avoid dry sweeping – this will spread dust.
- Wash children’s hands after they come in from playing outside and before eating.
- Regularly clean your children’s toys – use warm soapy water, then rinse thoroughly.
- Use a doormat and remove your shoes before entering your home.
- Consider keeping your windows closed on very dry and windy days when dust is visible.
What is the City doing to address the issue?
- We have issued a stop work order to Hilco Redevelopment Partners and no further demolition will occur on-site until the investigation is complete.
- We have collected dust samples for analysis and will share results with the public.
- We have distributed face masks to area residents.
- We are installing additional air monitors in the area to track airborne dust.
- We are overseeing clean-up of the affected area.
What should I do if I have questions about anything included in this fact sheet?
Residents can call 311 to report any concerns or ask questions about what actions to take to protect themselves from dust.
What should I do if I’m experiencing any respiratory symptoms?
Residents experiencing respiratory symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and if more severe symptoms are present, they should seek prompt medical attention. If you do not have a healthcare provider or are uninsured, contact your nearest community health center by phone and inform them of your need. You can find your nearest CHC at findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov.