A recent change in Health Canada‘s official position on asbestos comes in the wake of the industry’s collapse in this country. Even if we had to wait for the political optics to change, however, the move to recognize the weight of scientific and medical opinion on the health consequences of asbestos exposure is a welcome one – as a first step.
The Official Position on Asbestos
Previously, the Health Canada website stated that chrysotile, one type of asbestos that – not coincidentally – was mined in Canada was safer and did less damage than other types. This flies in the face of medical evidence. The statement now reads simply,
Asbestos, if inhaled, can cause cancer and other diseases.
There are many reasons why this is a good idea, chiefly,
- The moves brings Canada’s position in alignment with that of the World Health Organization.
- A total asbestos ban has been brought into effect in the U.K., Australia and Japan among about 50 other countries.
- The overwhelming weight of medical evidence says it can prove to be deadly with any amount of exposure.
Adding their voices to the mix, the Canadian Conference of Asbestos Workers (CCAW) released a statement that recognized the change in policy but remains dedicated to calling on the federal government to ban asbestos entirely nation-wide. Despite many people’s perceptions of the existing law, it is still legal to import asbestos into Canada and it is still used in mixtures in materials like drywall and brake linings.
We couldn’t agree more. Asbestos is naturally fire retardant, water resistant and nearly indestructible. It seemed like a miracle construction material and was used widely for residential and industrial purposes throughout the world during the first half of the 20th century.
But decades later people began to pay the price – the majority of them workers and others who had been exposed to asbestos by their employers. The fine, needle-like structure of asbestos does not deteriorate in the body but instead remains in the lungs when inhaled. It can eventualy cause a number of respiratory conditions including cancers and deadly mesothelioma.
If your home was built before the mid-1980’s, it almost certainly contains asbestos in one form or another. It’s considered safe while intact, but becomes inhalable if deteriorated or damaged.
Safe – Not Sorry
The safest route is complete asbestos removal or asbestos remediation. It’s too serious to take chances. If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, call the experts at GreenStream.
- In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414 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.