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Is there asbestos in commercial buildings?

Asbestos_with_muscoviteAsbestos is one of 11 materials the Ontario government has deemed too dangerous to be used in construction materials. Asbestos has a long history working well as a fire retardant and insulator and can be found in many commercial buildings. If removed improperly, it can risk the lives of workers. Also, the Ontario Ministry of Labour could fine your business! And a clean up bill of improperly removed asbestos can be very, very expensive!

Health Risk
Asbestos was a popular material used widely in construction and many other industries. If asbestos fibres are enclosed or tightly bound in a product, for example in asbestos siding or asbestos floor tiles, there are no significant health risks. Asbestos poses health risks only when fibres are present in the air that people breathe. Smoking, combined with inhaled asbestos, greatly increases the risk of lung cancer.

Commercial asbestos fibres belong in two broad mineralogical groups: serpentine (chrysotile) and amphibole (tremolite, actinolyte and others). Amphibole asbestos used in buildings until the 1970s. People working in construction, maintenance or in the renovation of older buildings should be particularly careful when removing asbestos.

Sources of Asbestos

During renovations and repairs to older buildings, construction workers, tradespeople and other building maintenance workers may be exposed to very high concentrations of asbestos fibres.

Negligible levels of asbestos fibres are found in the soil, water and air, both naturally and from man-made sources.

Commercial Buildings and Homes
There is also concern about vermiculite insulation which may contain small amounts of amphibole asbestos, principally tremolite or actinolite. These amphibole fibres may cause health risks if disturbed.

Not all contractors are properly trained or licensed to recognize and remove asbestos.

If you want asbestos abatement done properly contact trained professionals like R.C. White Ltd.
RC White Ltd. is a member of EACO – the Environmental Abatement Council of Ontario.

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