Canadian Asbestos Production in the News

Canadian asbestos production and exportation continues to grab the headlines in two recent stories.

While the Conservative government’s official line is solidly behind the Quebec-based asbestos industry, it seems that at least some individual Conservative MPs aren’t entirely sure of that position.

A group of Conservative MPs recently asked industry experts to meet with them on Parliament Hill to discuss the issue. Representatives of the Chrysotile Institute and industry scientists attended a private meeting with them that lasted several hours. It remains to be seen whether this will affect their or the government’s stance on this controversial subject.

At one time, the Canadian asbestos industry ranked first in the world, supplying about 85% of the world’s production in the early parts of the last century. The fireproof and nearly indestructible qualities of asbestos made it seem ideal for construction, and it became a much valued commodity worldwide until the early 1970’s, when its danger to human health became more and more evident.

Times have changed drastically over the last four decades. In November 2011, Canadian asbestos production fell to a complete halt for the first time in 130 years. As this blog reported recently, investors in the monster Jeffrey Mine are waiting on Quebec government approval for loan guarantees in order to re-open. It’s reported that operational issues are behind the closure of the only other operational asbestos mine, the Lac d’amiante du Canada site in Thetford Mines.

As these temporary issues get sorted out, activists on both sides of the asbestos exportation issue continue to lobby for support.

Asbestos may exist in your home in a variety of places both indoors and out, particularly if it was constructed before 1970. Those places include siding, insulation, floor and ceiling tiles and so-called “popcorn” ceiling treatments, among others.

If you suspect any kind of asbestos use in your home, and before any renovation projects, please DO NOT DISTURB OR HANDLE the material in question. The danger from asbestos comes from inhaling the fibres, and anything you can do to contain or avoid it until you can call in the experts from GreenStream Environmental Services will help to minimize the impact. It is not considered dangerous if the tile or other material is still intact.

At GreenStream Environmental Services, we offer professional vermiculite and asbestos remediation services and fast quotes to help get peace of mind as quickly as possible.  In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca – Toronto’s asbestos removal specialists – at (416) 818-9414.

Members of the Toronto Construction Association, 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, mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Markham and Ontario), 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.

Popcorn Ceilings – the Hidden Asbestos Hazard

Yesterday’s fads are quaint at best – dangerous at their worst. At one time, the so-called “popcorn ceiling” was everywhere.

Anyone over the age of 30 no doubt remembers those textured, stubbly ceiling treatments that were touted at the time as being easy to clean and maintain. It was a spray on treatment that was quick, easy and cheaper than paint, and could be used to mask imperfections and stains in older houses, and even poor quality workmanship in new buildings, probably all reasons that contributed to the popularity of popcorn ceilings during the latter half of the 20th century. Popcorn ceilings were also thought to have noise reduction qualities, and were often called “acoustic ceilings” as well.

On top of proving hard to clean and nearly impossible to fix up or repair in the event of any damage, (in contrast with the original claims!) and giving a room a very dated look, popcorn ceilings also often contain a hidden hazard. Do you know what was commonly used to create that stippled texture until its use was banned? Asbestos!

That’s right. From the late 1950’s until residential asbestos treatments were banned in the late 1970’s, asbestos was very commonly used in creating that unattractive “textured” look that you can find everywhere in homes from hallways to bedrooms and living rooms. If your home was built or renovated during that period and you have a popcorn ceiling, it almost certainly contains asbestos.

The first step towards ridding yourself of the eyesore and potential health hazard is to have the ceiling material tested for asbestos contamination . If asbestos is present, the next step is having the popcorn ceiling removed by certified experts. This is definitely not a “do-it-yourself” weekend job for handy homeowners. Once disturbed and broken apart, you can expose yourself to direct contact with dangerous asbestos. At GreenStream Envrionmental, our expert technicians are trained specifically in the safe and sound removal of popcorn ceiling, along with other types asbestos removal abatement and disposal.

Once the experts have done their job, you’ll be free to redecorate in a safe and friendly environment.

Should you suspect the presence of popcorn ceiling asbestos in your home or business, Contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca – Toronto’s asbestos removal specialists – at (416) 818-9414.

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, mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA, 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.