I would like to reuse demolition brick from building that was part of chemical factory. Factory was closed about 10 years ago, I know that sulphides and acids were heavily used there. I wonder if it's safe to use such brick or is there any way to verify? I plan to use it as root cellar elevation.

3 Answers 3


You would need to send samples to a chemical analysis laboratory to get a more definitive answer, but the brick was likely never in direct contact with the chemicals and after 10 years I would expect they off gassed anything they might have picked up. If you don’t notice an unusual smell from them, they are probably fine.

  • Besides the brick when exposed to any acids of any sort over a long time would have deteriorated a great deal on one side. This would be easily recognizable.
    – Jack
    Jan 12, 2020 at 16:56

You need to talk to government offices and have a conversation about site assessments and EPA cleanup. Presumably if they were able to sell the property, there would have been a level 2 site assessment. The new owner would have been able to clean up the property to develop it.

I would ask your local government for that paperwork, and look at what exactly needed to be remediated.

The question is whether these bricks were salvaged a) after the EPA cleanup, or b) as part of the EPA cleanup, and thieves intercepted them out of the hazwaste stream.


It depends on what you mean by "brick" and by "chemical". It is common for a chemical plant to use various chemical resistant types of brick in a factory area. Chosen to resist whatever chemical is possible in a spill. A company I worked for used acetic acid so had acid resistant brick that was essentially unaffected by acids. That brick could have been rinsed off and used in any home construction ;However I don't believe it came in the same sizes as domestic brick. "Sulfides" would be very unlikely to structurally affect common domestic fired brick but and residual could easily be a health concern .

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