Asbestos Removal – In BC, The Punishment Fits The Crime

An asbestos removal contractor has been barred from the industry by the B.C. Supreme Court after being issued literally hundreds of orders for breaking the rules.

The Story
Seattle Environmental and related companies owned by Mike Singh have operated in the Lower Mainland area of greater Vancouver for several years. The court found the company had breached workplace safety laws more than 20 times, at 11 different work sites, between 2013 and 2017.
Among the specific details:

  • The company did not make sure that workers wore full-face respirators when working with asbestos.
  • The company did not test for airborne asbestos while crucial work was being completed.
  • The company failed to seal the containers that held asbestos waste.

In at least two cases, the court found reasonable grounds that Singh had fraudulently issued documents known as “clearance letters”. These should be issued when an area has been verifiably cleared of asbestos. By issuing them before the asbestos was gone, it meant unprotected workers were being let back onto the site.

The Road to Justice
WorkSafe B.C. has been on the case for almost 10 years, writing more than 230 orders against Singh and his companies. It took until 2012 for the agency to get an order from the B.C. Supreme court ordering Singh to comply with the regulation. Previous charges include contempt of court when Singh simply ignored previous court orders. In total, Singh and his firms have been fined nearly $635,000 since 2010.

Singh and his lawyers argued that his companies were being unfairly targeted, but the judge wasn’t having any of it. The ruling means that Singh cannot carry out any asbestos removal work as of April 15, 2019 for an indefinite term. The judge was clear on the issues in her 177-page ruling.

“Seattle is responsible for repeated and egregious breaches of the (Workers Compensation) Act and regulation, including significant failures to properly dispose of asbestos waste, to ensure adequate containment during high-risk work and to provide safe supervision of workers.”

Choose Wisely – Choose GS
At GreenStream, we welcome any efforts by regulators to weed out the bad apples in the industry. A cavalier attitude towards health and safety regulations hurts not just your employees, but neighbours and anyone else in the area where an unsafe job site exists.

Asbestos dust can travel with the wind, and once it is inhaled, it never leaves your lungs. Decades later, it can result in a host of respiratory issues, including cancers and deadly mesothelioma.

If you have asbestos in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call 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.

Asbestos and Plumbing Repairs

If you own a home that was built before the early 1980s, you are probably aware that it may contain asbestos in various forms. Perhaps you have had floor or ceiling tiles replaced, or the attic insulation. But, there’s an area of your home that you may not consider when you’re thinking about asbestos risk – plumbing.

Asbestos in Plumbing
Asbestos was once thought of as an ideal material for plumbing and many other construction applications. Because it is virtually indestructible, and has superior thermal transfer properties that keep temperatures constant, it was used in a wide variety of plumbing products, largely between the 1940s and 1980s. You may find it in many areas.

  • Thermal insulation used to line pipes, boilers, ducts, and tanks;
  • Joint compounds;
  • Cement/asbestos pipes;
  • Pipe blocks;
  • Laminated asbestos felt;
  • Valves and gaskets;
  • Coating for pipes;
  • Welding rods;
  • Caulking.

What are the implications? Asbestos and asbestos containing materials are considered safe as long as they are intact. However, as you work on plumbing, you may be sanding, sawing, cutting, drilling, joining pipes, and other activities that disturb or damage the material. You then create the asbestos dust that can be inhaled – and which can damage your lungs.

What Should You Do?
No amount of asbestos exposure is considered safe. The risks include lung damage that can lead to respiratory issues, up to and including lung cancers and mesothelioma.

  • If you are doing DIY repairs, you need to know whether there is asbestos present or not.
  • If you are hiring a plumber, you need to inform them of any risks – including potential asbestos exposure.
  • If you know there is asbestos containing material where you want to work, then give us a call.

We Can Help
If you have asbestos in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call 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.

Winter Weather, Ice Dams – And Mould In Your Home

Since mould occurs wherever there is moisture, you may be under the impression that the freezing cold temperatures of winter mean you can relax about at least one common household hazard.

Unfortunately, your optimism would be misplaced.

Freeze/Thaw/Freeze
This winter, Toronto and the GTA has seen its fair share of nasty weather, including mounds of snow, followed by days of freezing and liquid rain, followed be a re-freeze.

  • As the ice melts and rain falls, it can develop into streams running around – and sometimes very close – to your home.
  • Water may drain right into your basement.

Along with what’s occurring outdoors, your home creates its own environment.

  • Where there is heavy snowfall, followed by days of cold temperatures, the warmer air in your home may leak out through the attic.
  • This causes the snow and ice on your roof to melt.
  • The melted water will drain underneath the rest of the snow, along your roof, but is likely to re-freeze as it reaches the edge, forming icicles and ice dams.
  • Ice dams can actually damage the roof, causing water to leak into your attic.

Now that moisture is in your home, mould growth becomes a distinct possibility.

  • Where there is lingering moisture, mould can develop within 48 hours.
  • Mould can develop in the walls, floors, and ceilings, where you don’t see it.
  • Mould spores can also enter your HVAC system, spreading throughout your home.

Prevention
The general rule of thumb when it comes to mould prevention is this: maintenance.

  • Keep an eye on the area around your home, and remove whatever ice you can.
  • Make sure that any snow and ice formations flow away from your home – not towards it.
  • Make sure your attic is properly insulated to prevent heat leaks.
  • Make sure there are no other pathways for warm, moist air to leak to the attic through stairways, walls, or other areas.
  • Vent your dryer and stove to the outside of the building and not into the attic.

Mould In Your Home? – We Can Help
Mould is associated with numerous health risks, including chronic problems of the nose, throat, and respiratory tract, persistent coughing, worsened allergies, and more. If you have mould in your home, a simple cleansing with bleach just won’t do the trick.

Let us help.

Our mould removal experts have years of experience, and will ensure that your environmental issue is eliminated efficiently. Mould can grow into walls, floors, and even carpets. If you smell that telltale musty odour, give us a call.

Let our technicians help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call GreenStream 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.

Asbestos Lessons To Be Learned From Social Housing Woes West of GTA

A social housing situation just west of the GTA puts the spotlight on maintenance when it comes to avoiding problems with asbestos and other potential hazards in your home.

The Situation
Residents of a public housing development in Hamilton have to relocate for periods of weeks to months as the building undergoes asbestos removal procedures. It will affect hundreds of people.

The building was constructed in the 1970s, when asbestos was commonly used in a variety of areas in residential and industrial construction.

  • Annual inspections found that leaky plumbing had caused the situation to occur on several floors of the building.
  • The asbestos became a problem when water damage issues caused ceilings to peel.
  • The building, like many of its era, featured popcorn – or textured – ceilings, where the texture was provided by none other than asbestos fibres.

The Work
Naturally, the project will be disruptive, but a city official quoted in a newspaper article said, “It’s a health and safety issue, not discretionary spending.” Air quality experts have gone through the building to determine asbestos levels for the safety of residents. Continuous monitoring will be crucial throughout the process.

  • It’s a 10-story apartment building, and the work will be done on one floor at a time.
  • Residents will be moved around to empty unit on other floors in the interim.
  • Vents and negative air pressure flows will be sealed off to prevent asbestos fibres from spreading as the work is ocmpleted.

What About Your Home?
There are a few key take-aways from this situation, whether you live in an apartment or condo, or own your own home.

  • Maintenance is key – asbestos and asbestos containing materials that are intact are not considered a risk.
  • The risk comes from dust or inhalable fibres, which can be caused by water damage, along with wear and tear over the years.
  • Great care must be taken in protecting you, your family, your neighbours, and even contractors working on your home from asbestos exposure.
  • Regular maintenance and inspection of your home’s major structures can find potential problems before they become a widespread and disruptive issue.

We Can Help
If you have asbestos in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call 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.

Old Home? – An Asbestos Horror Story

Just before the end of 2018, a homeowner in Winnipeg got a nasty surprise for the holidays – asbestos in the walls.

It was a water leak in an upstairs bathroom that led to a cascading series of woes. Unfortunately, the leak on a connector to the toilet tank began overnight, and by morning, had flooded the entire second story of the home, leaked into some of the first floor, and into the forced air vents of the HVAC system. A nightmare under any circumstances, to be sure.

The damage was so extensive, the family called in their insurance company, and the clean-up crew found something they weren’t expecting: asbestos. What they found specifically was asbestos within the drywall compound that had been in their walls.

Asbestos in Older Homes
The home was built in 1970, and was occupied by the same couple and their family since then. Like many people, they had a “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality, and so the home went with only a few necessary upgrades through the decades. It was a wake-up call the family won’t forget.

While the family may have been taken aback, the restoration crew was already on the alert.

  • Any homes built before 1990 have the potential for asbestos and asbestos containing materials (ACM) literally from floor to ceiling;
  • Asbestos or ACM may be found in floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, wall panels, even window caulking, textured paints, and carpet glue;
  • If the materials are intact and undisturbed, they are not considered a threat to health, but once major renovations or – as in this case – damage has occurred, it can cause the asbestos dust which can be inhaled.

That’s when the problem occurs.

Before You Renovate…
The lesson here is clear: if you own a older home, or if you are buying an older fixer upper, you need to find out what and where the asbestos may be located. Once you open walls and begin working – even if it’s something like a home theatre or alarm system installation – you are potentially creating inhalable asbestos dust.

  • If you are using contractors, you may be liable for their health and safety, including possible asbestos exposure;
  • If you are doing the work yourself, you are putting you, your family, and your neighbours at risk.

If you have asbestos in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call 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.

Asbestos: Can You Shrinkwrap Your Way To Safety?

The recent headline from upstate New York was nothing short of comical:

Ithaca woman wraps houses in plastic, fears asbestos from former library

The idea behind it, though, wasn’t a joke at all.

A Dangerous Demolition?
Scratch behind the surface of most headlines and you’ll find a more complicated version of the truth. Here’s the scoop: a woman in Ithaca, NY, did indeed seal up several properties she rents out with plastic because she was afraid of the risk of asbestos exposure and other harmful substances emanating from the demolition of an old library across the street.

The woman wrapped entrances and doors in thick plastic to protect the residents from friable asbestos dust and hazardous chemicals from the demolition project.

Is she right?

The project, involving the former Tompkins County Public Library, is a complicated one. The roof of the building is compromised, as verified by a structural engineer. Therefore, the city decided to do the asbestos remediation procedures and demolition at the same time – rather than removing the asbestos first.

  • Because of the simultaneous demolition/asbestos removal, all of the material from the demolition will be considered contaminated debris, and will be disposed of accordingly.
  • The demolition will be a controlled one. It means the building will go down one small area at a time to control debris, which should not disperse throughout the neighbourhood.
  • The area will be sprayed throughout the process to control dust.
  • Debris will be sprayed and covered nightly.
  • The water used for spraying will be filtered to prevent spreading asbestos and other substances.

In fact, the entire process resembles an asbestos removal procedure, with the added bonus of taking down the entire building as you do it. Controlling the dust and debris is the key component of safe asbestos removal and demolition work involving any hazardous substances. As long as those procedures are followed, we think the woman should feel secure that the risk of asbestos exposure has been minimized.

It’s an interesting look at a complicated case.

Asbestos in Your Home?
If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at 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.

Marijuana, Mould & You

Mould – it’s not really what comes to mind first when you think about the legalization of marijuana. It was the top story throughout the country in fall 2018, and this in a year you wouldn’t describe as uneventful. But, the focus of attention has been on the buying and consuming end. The legislation, however, allows for Canadians to grow up to four marijuana plants themselves for personal use, and that’s where a little information on mould prevention comes in handy.

The Marijuana-Mould Connection
Marijuana can, in theory, be grown indoors or outdoors. The connection between marijuana cultivation and mould is all about humidity. Marijuana plants require high levels of humidity to thrive and grow.

  • Marijuana cultivation requires, at different stages of growth, humidity levels between 40 and 70 percent.
  • Humidity levels above 55 percent are associated with mould growth, particularly at 70 percent or above.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

  • First & foremost: if you can possibly grow it outside – including on a balcony – then that is the way to go, avoiding any increased risk of mould in your home. An online search will find you a reliable guide to its cultivation outdoors.

If you don’t have that option, then here is food for thought.

  • Marijuana grow-op operations have destroyed many homes. In a bid to prevent any of that due to legalization, Manitoba and Quebec have already banned any home growing operations.
  • In addition to high humidity levels, powerful grow lights may present a hazard.
  • Whether the humidity levels required for just four plants is enough to cause permanent damage may be arguable, depending on the size of the room, ventilation, and other factors.
  • If you do make the decision to go ahead, constant monitoring is essential.

The risk of mould is always present where there is increased humidity.

What About Insurance?

Most real estate and insurance experts advise against in-home marijuana cultivation because of the potential for mould and other damage. You may know there is a big difference between the four small plants in your back room and a huge commercial operation, but will future buyers of your home make that distinction – or will they pass you by just to be sure?

  • Most home insurance companies have already included a clause in their policies that specifically voids coverage on any property that is used for marijuana cultivation.
  • Companies may choose to make exceptions for the much smaller four-plant grows allowed under the new law, but that step has yet to be taken.

Insurance lawyer Jennifer Huneault (Hughes Amys LLP) was quoted in Gobalnews.ca on the subject.

“Insurance companies don’t tend to do home inspections before issuing policies, so that’s where we run into stigma,” she said. “Everyone has this idea of a grow-op, so it’ll be an uphill battle.”

Mould In Your Home? – We Can Help
Mould is associated with numerous health risks, including chronic problems of the nose, throat, and respiratory tract, persistent coughing, worsened allergies, and more. If you have mould in your home, a simple cleansing with bleach just won’t do the trick.

Let us help.

Our mould removal experts have years of experience, and will ensure that your environmental issue is eliminated efficiently. Mould can grow into walls, floors, and even carpets. If you smell that telltale musty odour, give us a call.

Let our technicians help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call GreenStream 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.

House Fires And Asbestos – What To Do

House fires are devastating enough, what with the loss of property, and in some cases, irreplaceable items, not to say the overall trauma of the experience. But safety should always be a paramount consideration, and asbestos may pose a risk that you need to consider.

Asbestos in the home
Asbestos may be present in a home constructed before the mid-1980s. Absestos, and asbestos containing materials such as asbestos cement sheeting or asbestos vinyl tiles, may be found in a wide variety of places from floor to ceiling.

But asbestos is fire proof! you might be thinking, and you’d be right. That, and the fact it is virtually indestructible, is the main reason why it became known as a miracle material. However, the structures around it, and the materials it is mixed with, are not.

Putting Your Home Back Together
Potential asbestos exposure comes during the renovation process after a fire. Once the firefighters have gone, and told you it’s safe to return to your home, new dangers may emerge.

  • Any broken or damaged materials that cause dust, including exposed insulation, broken floor tiles, and even old appliance wiring in the walls, is a potential hazard that may contain asbestos dust.
  • It is tempting to think you can save money by sorting through everything, and doing the repairs, yourself, but you may be exposing yourself to asbestos dust.
  • Professionals use respirators equipped with high efficiency particulate air filters, and other specialized equipment to protect themselves.
  • A simple dust mask is not sufficient protection. Airborne asbestos fibres are extremely small, and will not be hindered by a dust mask.

Leave it to the professionals = that’s the best advice. A professional home inspector will be able to test for asbestos and any other hazardous materials.

That’s Where We Come In
If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call 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.

Don’t Steal That Asbestos Removal Machine

A recent headline from the west coast couldn’t help but attract our attention: Richmond RCMP say stolen asbestos removal machine presents health risk.

Wait, what? Someone stole an asbestos removal machine, and we have to wonder why. A rogue asbestos removal outfit? Are things really that wild out west?

Whatever the motive, it was a dangerous move, both for the thieves, and anyone else who comes into contact with the equipment. If it isn’t being stored properly, it may pose a danger to anyone in the vicinity.

Asbestos Removal – It’s Complicated
The piece of equipment in question is called an OmniAire 2000, a device used to filter the air on demolition sites. Asbestos and other airborne contaminants are filtered out and away from workers. That means asbestos particles may be present in the machine itself.

We’re really hoping that the perpetrators of the theft aren’t intending on using the asbestos removal machine to do shoddy, unlicensed work. It’s a danger to anyone in the area because of one simple fact:

  • Asbestos dust is dangerous because it can be inhaled.

Because of that fact, asbestos removal procedures are complex and involve several steps. The type of job, based on the scope and extent of existing asbestos or asbestos containing materials, falls under a series of classifications numbered 1 through 3, with stipulations at every step of the way.

While the details may differ he basic steps in an asbestos removal operation remain the same,

  • Proper preparation of the area to be worked on;
  • Control of asbestos dust;
  • Use of specific equipment, including personal protective clothing;
  • Proper removal of waste and clean-up of the area once work is done.

Materials and equipment such as the air filtration machine are used to make sure the work can be completed while protecting workers as well as anyone living or working in the vicinity.

In other words, it’s a complicated job for experienced professionals. That’s where we come in.

Let Us Help
If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call 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.

Canada’s Asbestos Ban: Update

As our national asbestos ban in Canada takes its final shape, there are some details that have changed along the way. Recently, the federal government took the final steps to put the asbestos ban into place. Here’s a current update on the situation.

The Asbestos Ban
Canada was the biggest exporter of asbestos before the industry collapsed a few years ago, and our country has more than a century year old history or asbestos mining. There’s a lot left, too. There are more than 800 million tons of asbestos waste – containing up to 40 percent asbestos – in Quebec alone.

The new law will ban the importation, sale, and use of asbestos fibres, and the manufacture, import, sale, and use of any products containing processed asbestos fibres. But, that’s not the whole story.

• The government just awarded a $12 million contract to extract magnesium from the asbestos waste.
• Federal and Quebec regulations were, essentially, set by the asbestos industry itself, and currently allow exposure to workers at levels 10X higher than the US or in Europe.
• The federal government moved quickly to tighten the allowable asbestos exposure rates tenfold, to bring them in line with other Western nations. However, the Quebec provincial government has not done so, despite the endorsement of all 17 of the province’s directors of publish health, the Quebec Medical Association and other organizations.

In fact, the Quebec government’s directors of public health, and National Public Health Institute, called for including those millions of tons of asbestos waste in the new asbestos ban, but Environment Minister Catherine McKenna rejected their please.

“I am satisfied that these proposed regulations, along with existing provincial controls, will address the health risks associated with asbestos mining residues.”

A Double Standard
In essence, it creates a double standard, where those people who work on the existing asbestos waste will not receive the same protections under the law as anyone else. There are other exemptions under the law.

• Military and nuclear facilities will be allowed to continue to use asbestos until 2022.
• Chlor-alkali plants, which produce chlorine and sodium hydroxide for industrial purposes, are also exempt for a period of several years to come. It will be phased out by 2029.

Another exemption allows for use of asbestos containing materials where they “are required to protect the environment or human health where there is no technically or economically feasible alternative available.” In those cases, a one-year permit will be issued, with strict reporting requirements.

The law also says nothing about existing structures that contain asbestos.

Asbestos in Your Home?
If you have asbestos or asbestos containing materials in your home, we can help. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call 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.