Firefighters and the Asbestos Risk

The continued presence of asbestos in our schools has the potential to put many people at risk – including firefighters.

A Hamilton elementary school was closed for most of the week prior to March Break after a suspicious fire broke out in a classroom. The classroom was unoccupied at the time and students were first evacuated, then sent home after the decision was made to close the school for the rest of the week.

The fire caused an estimated $250K in damages and The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) say firefighters may have “disturbed” asbestos contained in the walls during the effort to put out the flames.

An immediate clean-up was planned.

Firefighters are definitely at an increased risk of asbestos exposure. What’s contained in the walls intact is considered safe but the very nature of their work means that those walls are likely to be damaged. When other materials burn away, it exposes the asbestos which can then become friable – or small fibres which can then be inhaled into the lungs.

When You’re Renovating
You may not think you’re putting yourself at risk, but if your home was built before the mid-1980’s, asbestos may be present in many forms and mixtures of materials and in many places in your home, including:

  • vinyl floor tiles
  • ceiling tiles
  • wall panels
  • pipe insulation
  • vermiculite attic insulation
  • roofing materials
  • window and door caulking
  • textured paints
  • popcorn ceilings

It’s not only the work itself you need to consider – another big question is where will you dispose of the waste from renovations?

Don’t DIY!
Both the EPA and the Canadian Lung Association, among others, recommend professional asbestos removal and remediation services. It’s far too big of a risk to take on your own.

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 416-818-9414416-818-9414.  You’ll be glad you did.