Assessment of potential concerns associated with the use of cement kiln baghouse dust in FDOT concrete mixes.
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Assessment of potential concerns associated with the use of cement kiln baghouse dust in FDOT concrete mixes.

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    As a means of controlling mercury (Hg) stack emissions at cement kiln operations, some facilities have proposed or have instituted a practice known as dust shuttling, where baghouse filter dust (BFD) is routed to be blended with the final cement product, as an inorganic processing addition (nominally at levels up to 5% by mass) instead of returning it to the kiln. Research was conducted to provide guidance to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) with regard to possible human exposure and environmental emissions associated with making and using concrete manufactured with BFD. Potential mercury releases to air and water during the storage and handling of BFD as well as the potential releases from the concrete product were assessed using laboratory experiments. Based on the compositional measurements of the samples collected in this study, along with an estimated final concrete composition based on individual measurements, the final concrete product made from similar materials is not expected to differ dramatically in overall composition from that of concrete made without BFD. In tests where concrete made with BFD was prepared and cured, less than 0.5% of Hg measured in the BFD was released in the vapor phase. This release is expected to result in worker exposure conditions that are lower than allowable limits for worker safety. In batch leaching tests, leachate from BFD did exceed risk-based thresholds for several metal elements other than Hg, but leachate from the concrete product resulted in no concentrations above such thresholds. Furthermore, when leaching of monolithic concrete forms was examined over time in submerged conditions, the elemental metals of concern were rarely detectable and no potential concentrations of risk were noted. The results of these assays do not suggest that release of inorganic elements from concrete products manufactured with BFD of similar composition as those tested in this study and at similar mix designs will pose risk beyond any normal (made without BFD) concrete production use.
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