Rubber Removal Methods – Why you should be concerned about using chemicals!

SH8000 Rubber Removal

The rubber removal process used by the Stripe Hog Waterblasting System is the most efficient application in the industry as it can be completed with one machine and one operator.  The water blasting method is also environmentally friendly and safe for not only your runways, but also the personnel operating it.  This unfortunately, isn’t the case for all rubber removal methods.

Chemical rubber removal

The chemical removal method requires multiple machines and operators, more fuel, longer runway downtime, higher water usage, longer vehicle cleaning and maintenance caused by the caustic nature of the chemicals.  All of these items are also, believe it or not, the least of your concern.

The most common ingredients used when performing runway rubber removal with chemicals are 2-Butoxy Ethanol and Sodium Hydroxide.

Listed below are the known side effects and concerns of these chemicals when used for runway cleaning:

2-Butoxy Ethanol

  • Substance can be absorbed through the skin or breathed in through the lungs.
  • Substance can cause eye, nose, mouth and throat irritation. This chemical can cause headaches, lightheadedness dizziness, confusion, anemia and fainting.
  • Reproductive damage may occur, with potential damage to developing fetus in women and testicles in men.
  • Exposure can cause liver and kidney damage.
  • Breathing in the chemical vapor can lead to pulmonary edema, causing death.

Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic Soda)

  • Substance kills living tissue on contact and is rated a toxicity category 1 (highest level of toxicity).
  • Material is corrosive and irritating to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Can cause bronchial and lung complications.
  • Accidental exposure in adequate quantities has led to death.

If being an inferior method of performing runway rubber removal in the first place wasn’t enough for you to consider using waterblasting, the side effects of these chemicals must be! Don’t jeopardize the environmental integrity of your airport and surrounding areas.  Don’t put your personnel at risk.

Call us today for more information on how the Stripe Hog waterblasting method can benefit you!