Asbestos and building materials that contain asbestos are a huge problem. Known to be carcinogenic, it asbestos is made up of deadly fibres that research shows are responsible for the death of as many as 2,000 Canadians every year, many from exposure decades ago.
Canada as a country has lagged in terms of banning asbestos and materials that contain asbestos. Even though Canadian asbestos mines stopped operating in 2011, asbestos was still imported and used in new construction, mostly for cement-based pipes. Prior to this, until about 1990, it was used in thousands of building materials including some wall cladding, roof coverings including corrugated roof panels and asphalt and asbestos-cement shingles, roof felting, ceiling tiles, soffits, fascia board, bargeboard, gutters, and downpipes, as well as insulation materials. Most of these materials are now made using fibre-cement that does not contain asbestos.
In December 2017, the federal government announced it will change national building codes and prohibit the use of asbestos in both new construction and renovations this year (2018). But the risks associated with asbestos remain, particularly in buildings constructed prior to 1990.
Dangers of Asbestos
Left undisturbed, materials that contain asbestos pose little threat. But if interfered with, cut, or removed without proper procedures in place, asbestos fibres will likely be released into the air. If inhaled, the fibres and dust can cause cancer and other life-threatening diseases including mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer caused only by asbestos.
When buildings are demolished, any asbestos that was used in construction materials will be released into the air, contaminating not only the demolition site but neighbouring properties as well. Unless removed and transported according to strict Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations, all sorts of innocent people may be exposed to the dangers of asbestos on the site, during transportation, and at the landfill site where asbestos-containing materials are disposed of.
Even if a home or any other building is just going to be renovated or altered, the risks of asbestos contamination are real. So the first step is asbestos inspection, testing, and analysis. If asbestos is identified, you will need a qualified and registered asbestos abatement specialist who will either:
- Encapsulate by coating materials that contain asbestos to control the release of fibres into the air,
- Enclose by sealing the asbestos-containing materials behind permanent barriers, or
- Remove all materials that contain asbestos and dispose of them to a site that is acceptable and suitable.
Scope of Asbestos Testing Services
The Alberta Government’s Alberta Asbestos Abatement Manual makes it abundantly clear that air monitoring is not an acceptable method for determining health risks and establishing whether materials that contain asbestos should be removed, encapsulated, enclosed, or left as is with a properly planned management system in place. However, air monitoring is vital during all asbestos abatement procedures – before work starts, during the project, and before any enclosures are dismantled or demolished. Generally, the air should not contain more than 0.01 fibres per one cubic centimeter at any time during asbestos abatement work.
Whatever the situation, you need the services of a professional company like Mr. Demolition Inc. that can undertake testing of your house or commercial building and assess the potential risks of exposure.
Our asbestos abatement processes meet all relevant Occupational Health and Safety Regulations in Alberta. We are fully licensed and fully insured with a $5 million liability. All our reports follow the correct legal procedures and are certified.
We undertake asbestos testing and related services for property owners, property managers, contractors, and any other persons or groups. All these services are carried out in compliance with Alberta legislation and include:
- Asbestos risk assessment and management surveys
- Analysis of building material samples by a qualified third party laboratory
- Initial and clearance asbestos inspections
- Scope of Work reports for the abatement of asbestos
- Air monitoring by competent personnel as specified in Alberta’s OHS legislation
- Provision of air monitoring certificates
- Completion and submission of an Asbestos Project Notification Form to Alberta OHS
Asbestos Testing by Mr. Demolition Inc
We specialize in asbestos testing which is essential prior to dismantling and disposal of materials that contain asbestos, as well as demolition jobs where asbestos is a factor.
Our experience and commitment to every job, coupled with our affordable rates, will give you peace of mind and ensure your Calgary project is carried out safely, according to Alberta OHS procedures.
Contact us to discuss your project.