You may have heard that the Liberal government has issued a ban on all asbestos products in Canada as of 2018. In our opinion, this is great news. Canada hasn’t actively mined asbestos since 2012, but imported materials containing asbestos have still been legally used to create products that Canadians use everyday. Asbestos is an extremely dangerous mineral that can cause irreparable damage to the lungs, so we’re grateful to see the government is taking steps to ensure that future Canadians will not be hurt.
Unfortunately, it’s not 2018 yet, and many Canadians who live or work in older buildings are still a risk for exposure. This is because asbestos was used commonly in lots of building insulation as well as other construction materials up until the 90s. This means that many buildings that are close to or more than 30 years old have some asbestos.
House siding, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, furnaces and heating systems, cement, and plaster all commonly contained asbestos up until the 90s, but since the ban isn’t in place for another year, newer material may also be contaminated. Automobile materials such as car and truck brake pads and transmission components can also include asbestos.
In order to protect citizens, Calgary has included a mandatory asbestos check as part of the application process for either a renovation or a demolition permit. The asbestos abatement form is a contract which guarantees that the work site has been carefully checked by an expert asbestos removal team like Amity Environmental. If any asbestos-containing materials are found at the work site, they must also be removed by a professional team. This is necessary in order to protect anyone working on the renovation or living in the area.
All Canadians who live or work in a older building are at some risk for asbestos exposure. Fortunately, as long as the asbestos is not disturbed and is carefully sealed, it shouldn’t hurt anyone. Problems begin when asbestos containing materials are damaged (such as a cracked or water damaged ceiling tile) or when renovations or demolitions disrupt the asbestos. However, asbestos is a patient killer. It can take 40-50 years for a person to develop cancer from exposure, and by then it’s often too late. This is why we always recommend having an asbestos inspection done before buying a home or if you’re worried about your workplace.
Planning a renovation? Think your home or workplace may be leaking asbestos into the air? Amity Environmental can help! Contact us at 403-667-8264 today to learn more about asbestos inspections.