Abestos, Vermiculite & Mining

Northern Sun Mining Corp. recently announced that they’d completed an asbestos remediation program at their McWatters Mine in Timmins, Ontario.

Asbestos was discovered in the ore body of the former Liberty Mines site. Asbestos, as a mineral, often naturally occurs alongside and sometimes even integrates into other elements, as it did in this case in nickel ore. In a similar situation, a proposed iron ore mine in Wisconsin has recently hit a snag when sampling discovered the presence of asbestos there too.

Asbestos was once used deliberately in a wide range of construction componenets because of its beneficial properties – it’s temperature and fire resistant and virtually indestructible – but this happened in ignorance of the dark side of asbestos exposure. Decades later, workers who were exposed to it began to show the signs of mesothelioma and other lung diseases caused by asbestos exposure.

It’s quite another thing to find asbestos accidentally when you’re looking for something else entirely. That very situation led to one of the significant developments in the use of asbestos in North America – the use of vermiculitie insulation.

Vermiculite
If there is a lesson to be learned from history, it’s that we should be more cautious in adopting the use of any material, even those that come directly from natural sources.

Vermiculite by itself is an innocuous material whose chief useful property is its ability to expand when heated. As inter-wall or attic insuliation, it seemed ideal.

The problem is that most of North America’s supply of vermiculite comes from a now infamous mine in Libby, Montana – one that was found to be contaminated with asbestos. In addition to the vast number of residential, commercial and industrial buildings that became tainted with asbestos, the people of Libby have and continue to pay the price with their health.

Asbestos in Your Home
An old house has character – and probably features asbestos in a number of places. A Guelph area daycare centre was recently closed permanently after the discovery of vermiculite insulation. Asbestos exposure is of particular concern to children and the elderly.

When it comes to asbestos, as long as it’s intact, it is not considered a health hazard however any renovations or work that disturbs materials or causes dust can release breathable asbestos fibres into the air.

We can help:
Our seasoned team of asbestos removal experts can handle large or smaller asbestos remediation or removal jobs.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca 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.