Mould Adds to Asbestos Woes for Nation’s Science and Technology Museum

It’s something of an irony of course that the Canada Science and Technology Museum should be closed for two of the issues that epitomize old-fashioned building technology – asbestos and mould.

The Museum is closed amid renewed talks for it to simply move out of the building and into more appropriate quarters. The latest complaint is high levels of mould in the air that were detected recently. Mould was also detected along one wall. It’s meant that workers are prohibited from entering the building.

This comes after workers found asbestos in the roof last year. The material was encapsulated but not removed.

Playing Politics with the Museum
In fact, the building itself – which had been a warehouse – was never designed as a permanent home for the collection. It opened in 1967 in honour of Canada’s Centennial celebrations and has only been able to display about two percent of the collection due to its size.

Money, of course, is the issue. A new museum is on everyone’s wish list but money’s short – and the building remains shut in the meantime.

Naturally, the Opposition – Liberal heritage critic Stéphane Dion and NDP critic Pierre Nantel – have both pointed a finger at what they’re calling Conservative neglect of science. “It’s bad news. It’s symbolic that it’s about science,” Dion said.

Don’t Skimp on Maintenance
The problems that plague older buildings, such as,

  • Lingering moisture leading to mould
  • Asbestos that’s left to deteriorate

can be taken care of with proper maintenance and upkeep of the property in most cases. But,lLeft unchecked, these types of issues can result in an uninhabitable building.

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