#Canada150: The Legacy of Asbestos

As Canada turns 150 years old, along with the celebrations, it’s time to also take stock of issues that have left a darker thread in our legacy as a country – one of them being asbestos.

The Miracle Material
Asbestos had been used by indigenous people in the American West and other areas where it occurs naturally for centuries, but on a small scale. It was sometimes mixed with clay or terracotta and made into cookware, for example. Once it was developed for use in construction and industry, the conditions were ripe for the over exposure that has caused so many cases of mesothelioma over time.

Truthfully, it’s hard to condemn whoever it was that kickstarted the explosion of asbestos use in construction at the end of the 19th century. It had properties that really did make it seem like a miracle material.

  • It’s fireproof;
  • It’s soundproof;
  • It insulates against heat and electricity;
  • It’s virtually indestructible.

It was only decades later that exposure over time caused the flurry of lung diseases, including cancers and deadly mesothelioma. Unfortunately, we are still dealing with the aftermath today, including over 500 new cases diagnosed each year.

Travis Robertson is a regional safety advisor with the BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA), which represents 41,000 employers in the province. In the Journal of Commerce, he notes, “A lot of contractors think that they’ll only find asbestos in buildings from the 1970s and 1980s or earlier, but it also affects much newer buildings. We had reports from one of our member contractors who has a blanket policy on asbestos testing in each project. Samples from a building constructed in 2008 tested positive.”

Asbestos in Your Home?
While it is considered safe as long as the material is intact, once the material is disturbed, it creates the dust that can be inhaled, and affect your health. That means you need to be concerned during renovations or installation of anything that involves cutting into walls.

We can help. You can trust the experienced asbestos removal experts and asbestos remediation experts at Green Stream Environmental to take care of your asbestos issues. In the Toronto area contact Environmental 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.