Mining Publication: Blasting-Related Carbon Monoxide Incident in Bristow, Virginia
Original creation date: February 2004
Authors: ML Harris, JH Rowland, RJ Mainiero
In the past several years, there have been a number of blasting-related carbon monoxide (CO) migration incidents. In each case, there have been some common factors that seem to be related to CO migration. Geology, heavy confinement of the blast, close proximity to the affected structure, and open pathways into the affected structure are just a few. Prince William County, Virginia, is an area undergoing a boom in suburban development. In 2001, more than 4,050 new homes were built in the county. In the new housing development located in Bristow, Virginia, trench blasting was used to excavate proposed sewage and utility lines. On November 8, 2002, a trench blast was conducted to install utility lines. Later that evening, a CO detector alarmed in a nearby house. The gas company and fire department sampled for CO and measured 100 ppm on the first floor and more than 200 ppm in the basement. Subsequent efforts to prevent CO migration into the nearby homes met with mixed results. The only reliable technique for protecting neighbors from CO seems to be the placement of CO monitors in the homes. The events are presented and discussed.