#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.

After the Fire, Fort McMurray Rebuilders Face Another Threat: Asbestos

The Fort McMurray fire has horrified Canadians with its ferocity. While officials say that up to 85 percent of the buildings of the city have been saved, some neighbourhoods were completely destroyed. As city officials and workers struggle to deal with all the damage, another danger lurks amid the ruins – asbestos.

Naturally, buildings like the hospital will take priority, but the city faces a huge task in cleaning up before they reopen for business as usual.

Asbestos in the rubble
One of the biggest problems the city will face is how to dispose of all the rubble, including the toxic elements like asbestos. In a similar wildfire five years ago in Slave Lake, Alberta, up to three years’ worth of waste – about 40,000 tonnes – headed for the city dump in a period of a few months.

There is a good possibility that any structures built before the mid-1980s contain asbestos in one form or another. While it is intact it is not considered dangerous. However once materials are damaged by fire or other reasons, it can release fibres that may be inhaled. Once in the lungs, it never leaves and decades later can result in a variety of lung conditions, including cancer and deadly mesothelioma.

Asbestos was widely used alone and, more often, mixed with various other substances and can appear anywhere from floor to ceiling, including:

  • Ceiling tiles;
  • Floor tiles;
  • Wall panels;
  • Textured paints;
  • Attic insulation;
  • Pipe insulation;
  • And many more places.

Fires, floods and renovations
The Fort McMurray fire is an extraordinary happening – and let’s thank God for that! But, there are many other much more common occurrences that can also damage asbestos containing materials (ACM) and release the fibres that threaten human health. Exercise caution in any of these circumstances:

  • Fire or flood damage;
  • Any renovation that open up walls;
  • Replacing old flooring – especially when there are several layers of tiles underneath;
  • Installation of home theater or alarm systems.

Let Us Help
If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, you can’t afford to cut corners or “save money” while you damage your health and that of your family if the material is disturbed in any way. You can trust the experienced asbestos removal experts and asbestos remediation experts at GreenStream Environmental to take care of the issue for you. 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.

Asbestos as a Workplace Hazard – In Your Home

Canadian home reno superstar Mike Holmes has come out to make a public statement on asbestos as a workplace hazard. Holmes made the statement to the press on the occasion fo the National Day of Mourning, a day set aside to remember those who have lost their lives on the job.

The fact of the matter is that Canada has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma – the deadly lung cancer caused by asebestos – in the world. It’s the biggest cause of workplace deaths.

Where is the Asbestos?
In contruction, asbestos was often mixed with other materials such as vinyl (floor tiles) or concrete. While the ACM (asbestos containing material) is intact it is considered safe – it’s the fibres you inhale that are problematic. However, any kind of renovations or work that opens walls or disturbs old material, including drilling, sawing, hammering in nails and more, can create asbestos laden dust.

The problem is that asbestos was once so commonly used in construction of both residential and industrial buildings that it may appear anywhere literally from floor tiles to acoustic ceiling tiles. You won’t know just by looking at it whether it contains asbestos. You may find it in:

  • Pipe chasing and insulation;
  • Wall panels;
  • Textured paints and popcorn ceilings;
  • Vermiculite insulation;
  • Roofing compounds & shingles;
  • Sealants, caulking & adhesives around windows and doors;
  • Even drywall!

What About Your Home?
When doing any work on an older home, it’s essential for workers to wear protective gear. There’s no legal requirement when you are working on your own residence, but the danger is no less real.

It’s a serious health hazard for contractors and renovation companies. You may be tempted to cut costs by doing it yourself but remember that contractors have some of the highest rates of asbestos related disease – for a reason.

If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, you can’t afford to cut corners. The only way to proceed is with safety in mind. You can trust the experienced asbestos removal and asbestos remediation experts at GreenStream Environmental to take care of the issue for you. 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.

Firefighters Get New App To Track Asbestos Exposure

University of Toronto innovation is helping firefighters track the effects when it comes to exposure to asbestos and other hazardous substances.

Statistics show that firefighters do suffer from an increased risk of mesothelioma – twice as high in some studies. Mesothelioma is the result of exposure to asbestos fibres. Because of their virtually indestructible nature, they do not deteriorate but instead disrupt the tissue itself and decades later, develop into cancerous mesothelioma.

Asbestos & Firefighters
Asbestos was once widely used in both public and private buildings. Mixed with various other components such as vinyl, linoleum or concrete, it was used from floor to ceiling. Such asbestos containing materials (ACM) are considered safe as long as they are intact, however once they deteriorate – as they often do under the extreme heat conditions of a fire – they can release asbestos fibres into the air. It’s a very real hazard for firefighters as the statistics attest to.

A new app called Xposure, developed by a group of recent graduates from U of T Engineering. The project began when the group were undergrads and serves to help firefighters track their exposure to hazardous substances like asbestos. Previously, firefighters filled out an annual questionnaire and it is hoped that instantaneous reporting via mobile phone app will provide much better statistics to draw from and aid them if it comes time to claim compensation. It uses an intuitive questionnaire format to provide information that can also serve to help them in the future, creating a data base that can be analyzed and used to take proactive measures.

The app is currently being used by about 50 members of the Hamilton Professional Firefighters Association, with plans to expand.

Asbestos in Your Home
If you are unfortunate enough to have a fire in your home, it’s likely the firefighters who will be exposed to asbestos fibres. However, there are many other ways that you as a home or property owner can be exposed to asbestos.

  • Renovations that involve removing walls;
  • Installing a home theatre system;
  • Installing a home alarm system;
  • Replacing roof tiles;
  • Replacing old flooring;
  • Working popcorn ceilings or removing textured paints.

It’s No Joke
Asbestos is a known health hazard. If you have asbestos in your home, the only way to proceed is with safety in mind. You can trust the experienced asbestos removal and asbestos remediation experts at GreenStream Environmental to take care of the issue for you. 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.

Tragic Death of Asbestos Advocate Reminds of Vermiculite Dangers

As 2015 came to a close, headlines across the country brought the news of the tragic passing of Raven ThunderSky, an asbestos advocate.

Buildings in the First Nations reservation she grew up on in Manitoba were insulated with vermiculite that was contaminated with asbestos. ThunderSky had already lost several relatives to asbestos-related disease.

Zonolite – the brand of insulation in question – was used by the federal government for First Nations and military properties, leaving scores of people exposed to the deadly mineral. Ms ThunderSky was 50 years old when she succumbed to mesothelioma.

Vermiculite Insulation
The sad story illustrates the very real consequences that can come from asbestos exposure and vermiculite insulation is one of the major sources.

Vermiculite by itself is not a toxic material in any way and is often used by gardeners and others as part of a soil mix for plants. The problem is that most of the vermiculite insulation sold in North America came from the now infamous mine in Libby, Montana – where the deposits of vermiculite were found to be laced with deadly asbestos.

Vermiculite was used for insulation because it is a material that will expand as it heats up. That makes it good fill material. It is brown and/or grey and resembles pepples.

Vermiculite Insulation in Your Home?
It was widely used for residential and commercial insulation, particularly in attics because you can easily spray it into oddly shaped spaces and it tends to settle downwards.

Vermiculite insulation was widely used until the 1970’s, only gradually phased out after 1989 and not entirely banned until December 2003 in Canada. That means if your home is more than 13 years old, there is a chance it may still contain contaminated vermiculite insulation.

  • Important: If you open the walls for renovations, home alarm or home theatre installation, and you encounter any such substance, please do not investigate further.
  • You likely won’t be able to tell just by looking at it whether it contains asbestos unless you are an expert and even then the differences can be subtle.
  • It is dangerous when disturbed and the fibres can be inhaled – containment is essential. Seal up the area as best you can and please call us right away to help you take care of this health hazard.

When it comes to asbestos, the material is considered safe when intact. However, asbestos used in older homes is already decades old and the other materials often mixed with it – such as concrete – are prone to deterioration at this point.

If you have a problem with mould or asbestos in your home, you can trust the experienced mould removal technicians and asbestos removal experts at GreenStream Environmental to take care of the issue for you.

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.

Deaths from Asbestos Related Mesothelioma Continue to Rise

Decades after it was largely removed from use in everyday objects, asbestos continues to haunt both the industrialized and developing worlds. Statistics Canada recently released figures that show the health effects, including the number of cases and deaths from mesothelioma, the deadly cancer caused only by asbestos exposure, continue to be on the rise. Some of the figures;

  • In 1992, there were 276 new cases;
  • In 2012, there were 560 new cases.
  • In 2000, there were 292 deaths;
  • In 2012, there were 467 deaths.

The spike is clear and alarming – and the trend seems set to continue without an end in sight. The figures also only take mesothelioma into account; there are other lung cancers and diseases caused by exposure to asbestos that likely swell the numbers to double at least, according to experts.

There have been calls on the new federal government to enact a full ban on asbestos in this country and to support the listing of chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance under the UN’s Rotterdam Convention.

What Does It Mean For You?
If your home was built before the 1980’s, it almost certainly contains asbestos in one form or another. Fire retardant and nearly indestructible, asbestos was once considered a “miracle” material and used widely in both residential and industrial construction – literally from floor to ceiling.

The federal government may be waffling but you can make a definitive move to protect your health, that of your family and even your pets by “banning” or removing asbestos where it may occur in your home.

Our experienced and certified asbestos removal technicians are available to help you with your asbestos issues and answer any questions you may have. You’ll have peace of mind knowing the job is in safe and experienced hands.

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.

Asbestos: Responsibilities of a Property Owner

The plot in the ongoing drama involving the federal government, workers and asbestos continues to thicken.

The saga began when workers at a federal tax centre building in Ottawa complained that they had worked on the structure for years – only to find out after the fact that it was contaminated by asbestos. The latest reports suggest that the Public Works department went so far as to keep documentation of asbestos concerns under wraps. It took a year’s worth of arguing with the federal information watchdog – the contentious point was whether or not the government is required to provide documentation from private contractors that it hires to manage buildings.

What About Renovations in Your Home?
The federal government may be able to distance itself from responsibility for sharing information on asbestos management to contractors (or not – and we hope not!) However, as a home and/or property owner, you have some very specific legal responsibilities when it comes to getting work done on a home where there is asbestos or asbestos containing materials (ACM).

If you are contracting out any repair, alteration or demolition work, as the owner of a property,

The Exception
There is one exception to the rule: if you as the home or property owner are doing the work yourself. Then, presumably, you accept full responsibility for what can happen.

BUT WHY WOULD YOU??

If your home was built before the mid 1980’s it almost certainly contains asbestos in one form or another. While ACM is intact, it is not considered a hazard but any repairs, renovations and demolitions can create friable or inhalable fibres. There is no safe limit of exposure to asbestos which can cause serious and even fatal lung diseases, including deadly mesothelioma. The only safe route is to remove all asbestos and ACM.

Safe – Not Sorry
Vigilance can help but the safest route is complete asbestos removal or asbestos remediation. If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, this is one situation where you don’t want to take matters into your own hands. Call the experts at GreenStream. At GreenStream, you can be sure that our licensed and experienced asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians follow established procedures to keep you, your neighbours and our own workers safe.

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.

Asbestos Awareness

Asbestos Awareness Week happened earlier this month in the U.S. We have no comparable event or effort here in Canada which is a shame and even something of a travesty because we know that awareness and knowledge are the best ways to avoid asbestos exposure.

About a century ago, asbestos was hailed as a “miracle” construction material. It was fire resistant, moisture resistant and virtually indestructible. It was only decades later that it was discovered to be a health hazard.

If intact, asbestos or asbestos containing materials (ACM) are considered to be safe. However, once the material is degraded or reduced to a breathable – or friable – dust, it can enter the lungs, where it never leaves. Asbestos works its damage over the years, resulting in a host of lung diseases including deadly mesothelioma.

Here are three top tips to help you stay clear of a known health hazard.

Insulation
Unless you installed all the insulation in your home yourself, you should be extremely cautious in handling any loose insulation material.

Vermiculite is a substance that is often used in insulation and other uses because of its ability to expand when heated and its fire retardant properties. The problem is that most of the vermiculite insulation used in North America came at one time from a mine in Libby, Montana – a mine that was subsequently found to be also laced with asbestos. It was sold under various brand names until 1990.

Since the hazard from asbestos comes when it is in breathable form, loose insulation – if it is indeed laced with asbestos – is one of the most dangerous forms you will encounter.

  • Please DO NOT handle it at all.
  • If you can, try to contain the area where it is located and call GS quickly.

Put On the Brakes
While the dangers of asbestos have been making the news in recent years, you may be surprised to find out that many brake pads sold in Canada continue to use asbestos – and it is extremely difficult to tell which are and which aren’t by visual inspection alone.

  • The safest route to go in all cases is to call a mechanic and avoid doing any brake work yourself.
  • This is NOT a DIY situation!

Pipe it Up
One place you may not expect to find asbestos in your home is wrapped around your piping. Due to its moisture- and heat-resistant properties, it was once extensively used to wrap and insulate plumbing, heating and other piping that you may find in your home or any other building.

The areas where you will find them are typically enclosed and if they remain so, they pose no particular hazard. However they may be found in your basement and often around boiler piping in institutions. So, whether you’re at home or in a public building, avoiding contact with piping is your best course of action.

  • Children in particular should be instructed not to mess with any pipes they may encounter at school.
  • Anything that opens walls such as renovations or even installation of a home stereo or security system can also disturb or reveal asbestos pipe insulation.

You Can Trust GS
If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home, this is one situation where you don’t want to take matters into your own hands. Call the experts at GreenStream. At GreenStream, you can be sure that our licensed and experienced asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians follow established procedures to keep you, your neighbours and our own workers safe.

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.

GS Co-Owner Manny Oliveira Quoted in Globe and Mail Piece on Asbestos

GreenStream’s co-owner Manny Oliveira was recently quoted in the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, in the first of a series of pieces that take a hard hitting look at the federal government’s legacy of promoting the asbestos industry.

The articles points out that, in contrast with 52 other countries across the globe, the Canadian federal government has yet to enact a ban on asbestos. And, even though it’s been virtually taken out of use in the construction industry, asbestos exposure continues to be a concern today even as rates of mesothelioma climb.

The federal government’s stance continues to be that asbestos is safe as long as it’s intact and undisturbed, but given its prevalence in the architecture of previous decades – how realistic is that assumption? It’s actually quite easy to disturb asbestos or asbestos containing materials when they are found in so many areas of buildings constructed prior to the 1980’s.

Asbestos can become airborne in many ways, including:

  • cutting pipes
  • renovations
  • installing insulation
  • duct work
  • installing electrical systems like security, PA, stereo or home entertainment systems

Manny lent his expertise to that discussion. From the Globe and Mail:

Manny Oliveira, co-owner of Toronto-based asbestos-removal firm Greenstream Environmental Inc., estimates that “less than 10 per cent” of the thousands of home renos under way in Toronto have had testing for asbestos and then followed proper procedures for safe removal.

He has watched contractors haul out bags of asbestos to the dump and then reuse the bags. He has been called into homes after other firms have botched a job, stirring up asbestos in an attic and spreading it throughout the premises. “There tends to be a lot of cowboys out there who aren’t following the rules,” Mr. Oliveira says. “A lot of times they leave the place in a worse state than if they’d never showed up.”

As a point of fact, between 2000 and 2011, more than 4,000 people died of mesothelioma and the number of new cases has almost doubled to about 500 people per year since 1992.

The first part of the story focuses on the stark and sad story of a man who contracted deadly mesothelioma while working for a convention centre that underwent renovations. The workers had protective gear, but he and other office workers simply carried on as usual next door while the ventilation system dispersed the asbestos fibres everywhere in the building.

Don’t Take Chances
The threat to human health of asbestos is real. If your home was built before the 1980’s, it may contain asbestos in many places from floor to ceiling tiles. Let us help!.

Our experienced asbestos removal technicians can tackles any asbestos removal or remediation job, big or small. 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.

Fire Exposes Asbestos on University Campus

A fire – and the asbestos it exposed – closed a University of Windsor building recently. The fire itself was reported to be relatively small but it engaged the ceiling in a lab in the biology building. Firefighters tried to get at the source and exposed the asbestos fibres in the process.

Asbestos in the Ceiling
Asbestos – with fire retardant and acoustic dampening properties – once seemed an ideal material for ceiling tiles. It was very common in both residences and institutions like schools, universities and even hospitals. It was only decades after it came into widespread use that its long term health effects became known. When asbestos fibres reach the lungs, it can result in an array of respiratory diseases that includes deadly mesothelioma.

It’s relatively easy to replace ceiling tiles in most homes. In larger institutions, it often represents a prohibitive cost – probably why so many schools, universities and other institutions are still struggling with asbestos issues.

Since ceiling tiles were made with asbestos in a mixture with other substances, as long as the tiles are intact, they’re not considered a danger to human health. When they deteriorate or if the material is damaged, however, it can release friable – or inhalable – asbestos fibres into the air. In the University of Windsor case, it’s concern over air quality issues that is keeping the building closed for the moment. That concern is valid; once the asbestos fibres reach an HVAC system, they can be dispersed anywhere in a building.

Renovations, Asbestos & Your Older Home
Asbestos or ACM (asbestos containing materials) like that found in ceiling tiles may be present in a wide variety of areas quite literally from floor to ceiling in homes built before the 1980’s. It can be released into the air via:

  • Fires
  • Flooding
  • Renovations
  • Installation of windows, doors, alarm or home entertainment systems
  • Any other activity that damages the integrity of walls, floors, ceilings and more

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