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How dangerous is asbestos?

Many construction companies don’t take the proper precautions or follow regulations when disposing of toxic building materials, reported the Environmental Advisory Committees of Ontario in its newsletter.

Part of the problem is that property owners aren’t investigating whether they have toxic materials like asbestos onsite before finding a contractor to do renovations, said the Environment Abatement Council of Ontario.

There are regulations mandating the proper handling and removal of dangerous materials like asbestos, mould and PCBs. Property owners should compile a list of possible hazardous materials that may be found during construction before going out to bid. Once a list is established, then property owners can be sure to hire contractors with the proper qualifications, like R.C. White Ltd., to abate the materials.

An assessment for asbestos can be done by visually surveying the material, doing sample testing to find if asbestos is in the dust or air and interpreting the results. At least eight samples should be taken of surface material, thermal insulation and other material.

There is little health risk of asbestos if left undisturbed. If renovations are to occur, they must be done by abatement experts to reduce contamination. Asbestos is harmful when the fibres are inhaled because the body can’t expel or destroy the microscopic fibres. Long term exposure to asbestos fibres, mostly by workers who mined the substance or work in construction with little protective gear, are at risk of lung diseases and mesothelioma, a cancer that is present in tissue around the lungs and heart.

Although asbestos has been banned from use in Canada since 1977, health problems from asbestos exposure can take 20 to 50 years to manifest in the body.
Before taking any health risks, contact a trained asbestos abatement expert R.C.White Ltd. They can remove the toxic substances and make your home or business clean from harm.

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