By Luis Vasquez
East Los Angeles College is making an astounding renovation to campus buildings. Although the construction effort is appreciated, it comes with potential health hazards. I developed asthma in my junior year in high school. This does not stop me from going about my day normally, but it does take its toll as I walk anywhere near the construction zones.
The construction crews here al ELAC usually work from 8 a.m until 5 p.m. Construction workers often use heavy machinery to carry out different tasks. A machine that is seldom used in this construction zone is a crawler excavator. A crawler excavator (crawler digger) is a designed vehicle to dig or move large objects. It is widely used in construction work, such as digging of trenches, holes, foundations.
The air is then polluted by dust and dirt which makes it difficult for a person to breathe correctly. As a person with asthma this is a recurrent problem.
I often find myself huffing and puffing as I run through the construction zones trying to make it on-time for my next class. The pollution in the air makes the degree of difficulty rise as I try to go about my day without having to use the doctor prescribed inhaler.
The number of people with asthma continues to grow. One in 12 people (about 25 million, or 8% of the U.S. population) had asthma in 2009, compared with 1 in 14 (about 20 million, or 7%) in 2001. This leads me to believe that I am not the only one that is affected by the construction zone’s prevalent dust pollution.
However, I understand and appreciate the effort by the ELAC board in trying to accommodate its students to newer facilities in the imminent future. Passing through the construction zones often leaves me light-headed and out of breathe.
This, however, is an issue that I must deal with on my own for I know that my small defection will not lead to the immediate stoppage of work.
The construction at ELAC will soon be completed, the campus will look amazing and people will be able to walk around without the risk of having an asthma attack.