The tragic collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake continues to make headlines even as the collapsed building is being taken demolished. According to a 2005 report, inspectors found asbestos containing materials, including ceiling tiles and a cement mixture that was used to waterproof outer walls. The mall first opened its doors in 1980.
The presence of asbestos was also suspected in roof drains and vinyl floor tiles. The report didn’t raise the alarm since, at the time, the materials were intact and in good condition and therefore considered safe.
After the mall’s tragic collapse on June 23 of this year, however, survivors describe inhaling clouds of thick dust. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that so many onlookers came close to the collapsing structure to witness rescue efforts. No one was made aware of the asbestos risks at the time, and it’s not clear whether the rescue or demolition teams were properly outfitted with protective gear.
One of the places asbestos contaminated materials were found is in ceiling tiles. Prior to its ban in 1990, that was a very common use for asbestos due to its fire resistant qualities. Asbestos also has soundproofing qualities, which resulted in its use in so-called acoustical ceiling tiles.
Other ceiling treatments may include asbestos:
- “Popcorn” ceilings, also known as vermiculite, along with textured paints
- Pure tremolite asbestos blocks were used as fireproofing, most often in industrial buildings
- It may also appear as a fireproof spray-on coating
Maybe even in your home!
If your home was built before the 1970’s, you should assume it contains asbestos in one form or another. If you are looking to buy or renovate an older home then do yourself a favour and include an asbestos inspection on the list of things to do.
The material is very durable and likely to last for many years in bound form or if it’s contained, but it’s also true that many of the asbestos containing elements that you’ll find nowadays have already been in place for a long time. The material does eventually become brittle and break apart, capable of producing the friable – or inhalable – fibres that have been shown to cause lung disease, including mesothelioma.
Please don’t try to handle it yourself!
Get peace of mind from GreenStream Environmental – call us for an asbestos inspection or removal quote today.
In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414.
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.