Asbestos Dangers – The Real Stats

A recent incident reported by police in the Delta area of British Columbia says it all. A routine traffic stop this summer netted a driver a number of tickets. First, there were 12 people stuffed into a van meant to hold six. On top of that, in the cargo box next to two of the passengers was a pile of loose asbestos contaminated material.

Not only was this construction company putting their own employees at risk, the cops that made the stop were put at risk, and wherever they were going to dump it, the people who live in the vicinity would also be at risk of asbestos exposure.

Shady construction and even unscrupulous asbestos removal companies show up routinely in the news. With that kind of uneducated attitude, it’s no wonder that asbestos is the leading cause of workplace deaths in Canada and what’s more, fatalities have risen 60 percent between 2000 and 2012, the last years for which data is available. That assertion comes from Statistics Canada.

  • The number of people who die from asbestos exposure on the job represents more than a third of all workplace deaths.
  • The number is higher than those killed by highway accidents, fires, and chemical exposure put together.
  • It is by far the biggest cause of workplace related cancers, at over 70 percent.

The risk is real, and a careless attitude towards asbestos and how to deal with it carries real consequences.

What About Your Home?
The risk is real when you live in an older building – one built before the mid-1980s. Asbestos and asbestos containing materials can show up anywhere in your home literally from floor to ceiling tiles, basement pipe chasing to attic insulation.

But, that doesn’t mean you need to live in fear.

  • What all the situations in the news, and the unfortunate cases of workplace mesothelioma, have in common, is that workers were exposed to asbestos unknowingly or in ignorance of its dangerous potential.
  • They were not made aware of the dangers, and not educated on how to protect themselves.

In your own home, you can take control.

Let Us Help
If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Asbestos Dumping

Slowly but surely, environmental regulations as it relates to asbestos is tightening up across the country. That means that both workers and the public will be better protected against asbestos exposure.

There is a flip side to the story, unfortunately – asbestos dumping.

A Case in Burnaby, BC
A recent case in British Columbia, illustrates the problem. The residents of a neighbourhood in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, were furious to discover that someone had dumped several bags of asbestos contaminated waste in an alley way near Eton and Cambridge Streets.

The area’s residents contacted the city of Burnaby right away, and a hazardous materials team, along with the RCMP, came to the scene. Most of the bags were sealed, but one was open, and the contents were visible. The bags were blocking the alley in question.

Naturally, residents were concerned about kids inadvertently exposing themselves to asbestos. The problem goes beyond just that.

  • Winds can make the asbestos particles airborne;
  • From the alley, they could spread all over the neighbourhood.

In Metro Vancouver, any vermiculite insulation, blown-in insulation, and any acoustic ceiling tiles installed before 1990 must automatically go to the Vancouver Landfill, where it is assumed they contain asbestos waste. The only exception occurs when there is a certificate of analysis confirming that no asbestos is present in the material being dumped.

The RCMP are investigating the incident.

Know Your Contractor
When asbestos regulations are tightened, it is typically more expensive to process waste. That’s why unscrupulous and unlicensed operators take the cheap – and illegal – route of dumping.

  • An experienced and licensed contractor is your assurance that asbestos containing waste will be contained and disposed of properly and legally.
  • It protects employees, you and your family, and even your neighbours.

That’s Where GS Comes In
If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

The Paradise Theatre – Asbestos & Historic Renovations

Historic building renovations run smoothly when all the complications are considered – including asbestosToronto’s historic Paradise Theatre is a beautiful example of Art Deco style architecture on Bloor Street. The building at 1006 Bloor West has housed a theatre of one kind or another from the time it was designed in 1937 until 2006. As with many other older single-screen theatres, it fell into decline by the 1990s. Its fate was in limbo for several years, with the threat of demolition considered about seven years ago.

But, the period of uncertainty is over, and the venerable site is in the process of being completely restored. The building will house a restaurant along with a theatre and event space, with a mix of some private and mostly public programming.

Out With The Old…
The project has been underway for about three years. Before the new design and features could be developed, the building first had to be rehabilitated. That included:

Asbestos removal;
• Lead paint removal;
• Fixing a leaky wall (likely causing mould);
• Among others.

That work is now done, clearing the way for a bright new future for a lovely historic building.

Your Old Home
When it comes to your home, demolition and rebuilding typically aren’t the first choice when you want to change. With so many older homes in Toronto’s market, renovations are booming.

But, for a successful renovation, just like the Paradise Theatre, you have to include dealing with asbestos and other environmental issues before you begin.

• If your home was built before the mid-1980s, it is likely to include asbestos or asbestos containing materials in one form or another.
• It can take many forms, and appear anywhere in your home from floor tiles to wall panels to ceiling tiles and even textured paints. It could be in caulking, insulation, and in your attic.
• No amount of exposure to asbestos is considered safe, and any work that disturbs or damages walls or other structures can produce deadly asbestos dust.
• A successful renovation begins with including asbestos removal, mould removal, and any other legacy issues in your renovation budget.

We can help!

If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Asbestos, Explosions & Due Diligence

Everyone in the GTA remembers the Sunrise Propane explosion that rocked North York a decade ago in 2008. In the wake of the blast, a toxic rain of debris – including asbestos dust – fell on the neighbourhood for days.

The Sunrise Court Saga
In July 2018, the Superior Court recently upheld the original conviction and sentence against Sunrise Propane, which included a $5.3 million in fines for breaches of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The company had appealed the original decision of November 2017.

In the case of R. v. Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc. 2017 ONSC 6954, Ontario (Ministry of Labour and Ministry of the Environment) v. Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc. et al., 2013 ONCJ 358, the decision by the court emphasized the responsibilities of any business whose operations are dangerous to public health and the environment. In this case, asbestos dust exposure was a byproduct of an environmentally unsafe situation.

What Happened?
Superior Propane was a refill station where truck to truck propane transfers took place. In 2006, truck to truck transfers were prohibited. In 2007, the company received an exemption to the prohibition, provided they upgrade their facilities. In 2008, when the explosion occurred, the upgrades still ween’t done, and truck to track transfers were still taking place.

The explosion happened when a leak occurred as a transfer was going on. The blast sent a variety of contaminants into the air and the surrounding neighbourhood, and that’s where the bulk of the charges were laid. That includes,

  • asbestos,
  • heat,
  • gas vapour,
  • dust,
  • metals,
  • other debris.

To add insult to injury, so to speak, the company failed to act on an order to remediate the property, meaning some of those contaminants lingered in the area for years afterwards.

Don’t Take Chances!
What can a homeowner take away from this story? Due diligence is a legal term, but what it boils down to is simply this: if you’re doing something that is potentially dangerous, you need to take the right precautions for your – and everyone’s – safey. It’s a legal obligation, but it’s also plain common sense.

At GreenStream Environmental, we deal with that aspect of our business every day. If you have asbestos in your home, you need professional, expert help, and a reputable company that will get the job done, and dispose of any asbestos or asbestos containing materials properly.

We can help.

If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

City of Portland New Demo Rules Target Asbestos Dust Contamination

This month, the city of Portland, Oregon, approved a new series of regulations about home demolitions that were designed to help control and minimize exposure to asbestos and lead dust.

The city took a leading role in promoting safer conditions in demolition situations. These include a number of specifications.

  • Contractors are now required to take down portions of a building by hand, if the use of heavy equipment might lead to the release of asbestos or lead dust.
  • Sites must be misted with water to prevent the spread of asbestos or lead dust.

The city’s new regulations put it at the forefront of North American communities concerned with protecting citizens from the harmful effects of exposure to lead or asbestos dust.

Ontario Regulations
The law in Ontario that governs demolitions and hazardous substances is the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It contains regulations for any demolition, renovations, or repairs to a building.

When it comes to demolitions, the law sets out the following:

  • Prior to the work commencing, the owner of the building must have the building examined for the presence of asbestos, whether it is likely to be disturbed by the renovation or demolition.
  • Demolitions can be done only after any asbestos or asbestos containing material (ACM) which may be disturbed has been removed from the site.
  • If demolition begins and the ACM is only found after, then the process halts until the ACM is removed.

It’s a little more complicated than that, but those are the basic rules. The City of Toronto does not require the same kind of regulations as Portland, currently.

You Can Count On GS
Here at GreenStream, we applaud the city of Portland for their diligence. The risk from the spread of asbestos dust from worksites – whether they are demolition or renovation projects, or asbestos removal jobs – is very real. Unfortunately, there have been many cases worldwide that prove the risk from asbestos dust can spread well beyond its initial source. We take every necessary precaution to ensure that any hazardous asbestos dust or other materials are contained within our worksites, and then disposed of safetly.

If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Mould & Humidity – Prevention and Control

Summer has finally come to Toronto and the GTA, and with high temperatures inevitably come high humidity. Humidity is simply water vapour in the air, so it’s not just the discomfort when you venture outside that you need to worry about.

The Mould-Humidity Link
Indoor humidity is directly related to air quality, and can lead to mould growth. There are two ways that humidity can lead to mould growth.

  • If you have leaks in plumbing, or any other lingering water, anywhere in your home, high humidity indoors will prevent it from fully drying out. Mould only needs 24 to 48 hours to begin to take hold.
  • High humidity, by itself, can lead to mould growth. How high is too high? About 60% humidity.
  • Ideal indoor humidity levels should range between 30% and 50% at most.

If you are concerned, you can buy an inexpensive tool called a hygrometer to measure humidity levels in your home. Mould will grow where it can find food, and it loves cellulose. It can grow on a variety of materials commonly found in the home, including:

  • Drywall and plaster;
  • Wood;
  • Paper;
  • Carpeting;
  • Insulation.

What’s the answer?
Reducing humidity and making sure there is adequate ventilation in your home will reduce the risk of mould growth.

  • Air conditioning may not be enough – a dehumidifier is a good investment in indoor air quality.
  • Be sure to keep the dehumidifier clean and disinfected so that it can operate properly.

We Can Help
If you are dealing with mould in your home, we can help. You can trust the experienced mould removal experts at Green Stream Environmental to take care of your environmental issues. In the Toronto area contact Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Update That (Asbestos Riddled) Popcorn Ceiling

So you’ve bought an older home in the GTA, or perhaps you already own one, and while you love a lot of things about it, there is the matter of that outdated, bumpy plaster ceiling.

It’s hard to believe now, but popcorn ceilings – those textured, by now often discoloured plaster and stucco treatments – were once all the rage. They were thought to be easy to maintain and to hide minor imperfections in the ceiling surface.

What exactly is a “popcorn ceiling”?
Popcorn ceilings and other textured wall treatments were already in use in the 1920s, but as a fad, they reached their peak between the 1960s and 1980s. Nowadays, they certainly make a room look dated. Dust and smoke over the years can make them look dirty and yellowed, and they can trap dust, spiderwebs, and other dirt.

You may also know they as an acoustic ceiling or even a cottage cheese ceiling. The treatment, which was sprayed on, was often used in bedrooms, hallways, and living rooms. For decades, the effect was produced by mixing plaster with asbestos, which was then was sprayed onto the ceiling, or plastered by hand.

Why asbestos? It was added for two reasons.

  • First, it does provide some acoustic insulation.
  • Second, it is fireproof and was thought to be a safety feature.

When should you be concerned?
The answer is a little fuzzy. Technically, manufacturing most asbestos containing materials or ACM was banned in Canada in 1979. However, existing inventories of ACM were exempt from the ban, and asbestos continued to find its way into construction projects until the early 1990s.

Not all popcorn ceilings contain asbestos. Once the existing stock ran out in the early to mid-1990s, the texture was produced with a paper-based product. Even so, the ceiling treatment ran out of favour by about the same time.

  • The important thing to remember is – you won’t be able to tell whether it contains asbestos or not just by looking at it.

Please don’t try DIY
You may be tempted to remove it yourself, but we – and any asbestos expert you will ask – strongly caution you against a DIY popcorn ceiling removal. Scraping the material off will necessarily produce the friable dust that can enter the lungs and eventually cause health problems, including deadly mesothelioma.

  • Removing a popcorn ceiling safely requires special equipment that produces minimal dust and incorporates a double filtration system to keep even that bit of dust well contained.
  • Also Note – even though, if you are working on your own home, you are not required by law to perform an asbestos or other hazardous material assessment, you ARE still required by law to properly and safely contain, transport, and dispose of any asbestos containing material waste and you are liable for anyone else’s asbestos exposure.

We Can Help
If you have a popcorn ceiling or any other asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Asbestos And Renovation Projects

Just west of the GTA, a public renovation project is a reminder that when you’re dealing with older buildings, you need to take asbestos into account from the beginning.

Like many homes throughout Toronto and Southern Ontario, the Dundas Museum & Archives in Hamilton, Ontario is an older structure. The 80 year-old building will be closed for about six weeks during the summer for renovations that include extensive asbestos removal as well as other infrastructure work.

A major renovation project already took place on the building about five years ago, but somehow, asbestos removal wasn’t first on the list of priorities. We’re assuming that any asbestos or asbestos containing materials (ACM) in the building were contained and/or intact. As such, they were considered safe, or not producing inhalable (friable) dust.

Asbestos and Renovations
The asbestos in the Dundas Museum is located in floor tiles. That’s a very common place to find them in an older home. Asbestos was mixed with vinyl, linoleum, concrete, and other substances that are used throughout homes and other buildings, literally from floor to ceiling.

What you need to know:

Anything that disturbs existing material may damage ACM and cause asbestos dust which can be inhaled. That includes,

  • Replacing floor tiles – many older DIY tiles jobs just laid new layers on top of old.
  • You don’t know what you’ll uncover;
  • Replacing roofing or siding materials;
  • Repairing or replacing a popcorn ceiling;
  • Replacing textured paints;
  • Replacing acoustic ceiling tiles;
  • Adding a home theatre or security system;
  • And much more.

If your home was built before the mid-1980s, there’s a good chance it contains asbestos in some form. Regular maintenance and inspection will help ensure that any existing material is intact, but when you begin to see deterioration, or when you renovate, you will need to budget enough money and time to include asbestos removal in your plans.

  • Remember: If you hire a contractor to work on your home, you are also liable for any of their asbestos exposure.

We Can Help
If you have asbestos in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

We’ve Been Named One Of The Top 25 Asbestos Blogs On The Internet!

We’ve been in the asbestos removal and remediation business for a long time. We set up this blog as an informational feature for our clients and others to highlight important issues, the risks, and more about this dangerous mineral.

What it Means
The list was compiled by Feedspot, a content reader. What is a content reader, you ask? It’s a website that can help you organize your reading from the web. If you’re typical, you read content from a variety of different sources. At Feedspot, you can add blogs, news and RSS feeds, YouTube channels and other social media sites, so that you can keep on top of your favourite topics all at one spot – like asbestos. It will even keep track of what you’ve read and what you have left to peruse.

You can also opt for a daily digest of your favourite topics and news delivered right to your email address.

The Feedspot blog looks at top blogs and YouTube channels, divided into categories that cover a broad range of topics. Their editorial team does extensive searches to find the best blogs on different topics, and that’s where this list comes from. It’s rated according to:

  • Blog content quality
  • Post consistency
  • Age of the blog
  • Average number of shares on social sites for blog posts
  • Traffic to the blog and more..

Many thanks to Feedspot for putting us on the list!

It’s Our Job
Asbestos removal is our job and our calling. We’re very honoured to have been selected as one of the Top 25 Asbestos Blogs On The Internet and it’s very encouraging to get this kind of recognition for our efforts to keep our customers and others up to date on asbestos news.

We appreciate all our customers and the goodwill we’ve been shown.

If you have asbestos or vermiculite insulation tainted with asbestos in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Vermiculite – the hidden danger in your attic

If you have an older home, you may have a hidden problem in your attic—vermiculite insulation that is tainted with asbestos.

Vermiculite Insulation
Vermiculite insulation was widely used, typically in attic spaces, in North America between the 1940s and 1980s, and was used right up till the 1990s in some areas.

Vermiculite is fire-resistant, and swells up when it heats up, making it almost the ideal insulation material. By itself, it’s not problematic. The problem comes from the fact that the vast majority—about 75 percent – of vermiculite used in insulation in North America comes from a single mine in Libby, Montana.

After decades of mining, the workers, and then the townspeople themselves, began to display the symptoms of asbestos exposure, including lung ailments, cancers, and deadly mesothelioma. That’s when it was discovered that the Libby mine was naturally contaminated with asbestos.

The Libby mine was in production for 50 years between 1940 and 1990. In Canada, vermiculite insulation from Libby was marketed under the Zonolite label, and during the 1970s and early 1980s, the federal government actually offered homeowners grants to install Zonolite in their homes. It means a lot of older homes with tainted vermiculite insulation.

Vermiculite Detection
Vermiculite is a brownish colour and granular in texture. You won’t be able to tell if your vermiculite attic insulation contains asbestos just by looking at it.

  • In fact, if you suspect that you have vermiculite insulation, you should avoid all contact with it, and call in an inspector to help you determine the truth. The inspector will send a sample to a lab to figure out the exact content.

That determination has become a little easier, even for the experts, with a recent invention by the United States Geology Survey (USGS). They have developed a hand-held spectrometer that can determine whether asbestos is present. The spectrometer uses a sophisticated electron probe to perform an analysis of the material. If it becomes widely used, its instant determination would save a lot of time when it comes to vermiculite insulation removal.

In addition to specific cases where the homeowner already suspects the presence of vermiculite insulation, the tool could be used in home inspections, and before major home renovations as a preventive measure.

GS Can Help
If you have vermiculite insulation tainted with asbestos in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.