Fire Exposes Asbestos on University Campus

A fire – and the asbestos it exposed – closed a University of Windsor building recently. The fire itself was reported to be relatively small but it engaged the ceiling in a lab in the biology building. Firefighters tried to get at the source and exposed the asbestos fibres in the process.

Asbestos in the Ceiling
Asbestos – with fire retardant and acoustic dampening properties – once seemed an ideal material for ceiling tiles. It was very common in both residences and institutions like schools, universities and even hospitals. It was only decades after it came into widespread use that its long term health effects became known. When asbestos fibres reach the lungs, it can result in an array of respiratory diseases that includes deadly mesothelioma.

It’s relatively easy to replace ceiling tiles in most homes. In larger institutions, it often represents a prohibitive cost – probably why so many schools, universities and other institutions are still struggling with asbestos issues.

Since ceiling tiles were made with asbestos in a mixture with other substances, as long as the tiles are intact, they’re not considered a danger to human health. When they deteriorate or if the material is damaged, however, it can release friable – or inhalable – asbestos fibres into the air. In the University of Windsor case, it’s concern over air quality issues that is keeping the building closed for the moment. That concern is valid; once the asbestos fibres reach an HVAC system, they can be dispersed anywhere in a building.

Renovations, Asbestos & Your Older Home
Asbestos or ACM (asbestos containing materials) like that found in ceiling tiles may be present in a wide variety of areas quite literally from floor to ceiling in homes built before the 1980’s. It can be released into the air via:

  • Fires
  • Flooding
  • Renovations
  • Installation of windows, doors, alarm or home entertainment systems
  • Any other activity that damages the integrity of walls, floors, ceilings and more

We Can Help
At GreenStream, our experienced asbestos technicians can offer advice and either asbestos remediation or asbestos removal to safely take any potential hazard out of your way for good. 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.