Sunrise Trial Illustrates Hidden Asbestos Danger

Six years after the explosion that shocked Toronto and the GTA and dumped asbestos over a neighbourhood, the trial involving the former Sunrise Propane company and two of its executives is inching to its conclusion.

The trial is currently in the sentencing phase after the company itself and directors Shay Ben-Moshe and Valery Belahov were found guilty of nine provincial offences.

Jurors heard evidence that the explosion occurred as employees were performing an unauthorized tank-to-tank transfer of propane at about 3am on August 10, 2008. The propane vapours ignited and the horrific fireball along with several smaller explosions that resulted sent about 12,000 people from the surrounding Downsview neighbourhood running from their homes to escape the downfall of asbestos-tainted debris that rained down over their homes. Businesses, schools and a cemetery were also affected.

Sadly, a Sunrise employee was killed in the blast. The company and its directors were charged with multiple counts of breaching the Environmental Protection Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Asbestos – the Hidden Danger
Certainly, the incident is an extraordinary one, but it tragically illustrates the hidden danger lurking in older homes, factories, businesses, institutions and other buildings: asbestos.

Any home or building constructed before the mid-1980’s is likely to contain asbestos in one form or another. As long as the material is contained, or exists as part of a mixture – aka asbestos containing material or ACM – that is intact, it’s considered safe. Asbestos becomes dangerous to human health when it’s inhalable (or friable) as dust or when ACM becomes damaged or is degraded.

It doesn’t take an explosion to damage building materials and produce inhalable asbestos. It can result from:

  • Renovations
  • Installation of windows, doors or even alarm or home entertainment systems
  • Floods and sewer back ups

We Can Help
At GreenStream, our experienced asbestos technicians can offer advice and either asbestos removal or asbestos remediation 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.