Asbestos Dangers – The Real Stats

A recent incident reported by police in the Delta area of British Columbia says it all. A routine traffic stop this summer netted a driver a number of tickets. First, there were 12 people stuffed into a van meant to hold six. On top of that, in the cargo box next to two of the passengers was a pile of loose asbestos contaminated material.

Not only was this construction company putting their own employees at risk, the cops that made the stop were put at risk, and wherever they were going to dump it, the people who live in the vicinity would also be at risk of asbestos exposure.

Shady construction and even unscrupulous asbestos removal companies show up routinely in the news. With that kind of uneducated attitude, it’s no wonder that asbestos is the leading cause of workplace deaths in Canada and what’s more, fatalities have risen 60 percent between 2000 and 2012, the last years for which data is available. That assertion comes from Statistics Canada.

  • The number of people who die from asbestos exposure on the job represents more than a third of all workplace deaths.
  • The number is higher than those killed by highway accidents, fires, and chemical exposure put together.
  • It is by far the biggest cause of workplace related cancers, at over 70 percent.

The risk is real, and a careless attitude towards asbestos and how to deal with it carries real consequences.

What About Your Home?
The risk is real when you live in an older building – one built before the mid-1980s. Asbestos and asbestos containing materials can show up anywhere in your home literally from floor to ceiling tiles, basement pipe chasing to attic insulation.

But, that doesn’t mean you need to live in fear.

  • What all the situations in the news, and the unfortunate cases of workplace mesothelioma, have in common, is that workers were exposed to asbestos unknowingly or in ignorance of its dangerous potential.
  • They were not made aware of the dangers, and not educated on how to protect themselves.

In your own home, you can take control.

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.

We’ve Been Named One Of The Top 25 Asbestos Blogs On The Internet!

We’ve been in the asbestos removal and remediation business for a long time. We set up this blog as an informational feature for our clients and others to highlight important issues, the risks, and more about this dangerous mineral.

What it Means
The list was compiled by Feedspot, a content reader. What is a content reader, you ask? It’s a website that can help you organize your reading from the web. If you’re typical, you read content from a variety of different sources. At Feedspot, you can add blogs, news and RSS feeds, YouTube channels and other social media sites, so that you can keep on top of your favourite topics all at one spot – like asbestos. It will even keep track of what you’ve read and what you have left to peruse.

You can also opt for a daily digest of your favourite topics and news delivered right to your email address.

The Feedspot blog looks at top blogs and YouTube channels, divided into categories that cover a broad range of topics. Their editorial team does extensive searches to find the best blogs on different topics, and that’s where this list comes from. It’s rated according to:

  • Blog content quality
  • Post consistency
  • Age of the blog
  • Average number of shares on social sites for blog posts
  • Traffic to the blog and more..

Many thanks to Feedspot for putting us on the list!

It’s Our Job
Asbestos removal is our job and our calling. We’re very honoured to have been selected as one of the Top 25 Asbestos Blogs On The Internet and it’s very encouraging to get this kind of recognition for our efforts to keep our customers and others up to date on asbestos news.

We appreciate all our customers and the goodwill we’ve been shown.

If you have asbestos or vermiculite insulation tainted with asbestos 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.

Vermiculite – the hidden danger in your attic

If you have an older home, you may have a hidden problem in your attic—vermiculite insulation that is tainted with asbestos.

Vermiculite Insulation
Vermiculite insulation was widely used, typically in attic spaces, in North America between the 1940s and 1980s, and was used right up till the 1990s in some areas.

Vermiculite is fire-resistant, and swells up when it heats up, making it almost the ideal insulation material. By itself, it’s not problematic. The problem comes from the fact that the vast majority—about 75 percent – of vermiculite used in insulation in North America comes from a single mine in Libby, Montana.

After decades of mining, the workers, and then the townspeople themselves, began to display the symptoms of asbestos exposure, including lung ailments, cancers, and deadly mesothelioma. That’s when it was discovered that the Libby mine was naturally contaminated with asbestos.

The Libby mine was in production for 50 years between 1940 and 1990. In Canada, vermiculite insulation from Libby was marketed under the Zonolite label, and during the 1970s and early 1980s, the federal government actually offered homeowners grants to install Zonolite in their homes. It means a lot of older homes with tainted vermiculite insulation.

Vermiculite Detection
Vermiculite is a brownish colour and granular in texture. You won’t be able to tell if your vermiculite attic insulation contains asbestos just by looking at it.

  • In fact, if you suspect that you have vermiculite insulation, you should avoid all contact with it, and call in an inspector to help you determine the truth. The inspector will send a sample to a lab to figure out the exact content.

That determination has become a little easier, even for the experts, with a recent invention by the United States Geology Survey (USGS). They have developed a hand-held spectrometer that can determine whether asbestos is present. The spectrometer uses a sophisticated electron probe to perform an analysis of the material. If it becomes widely used, its instant determination would save a lot of time when it comes to vermiculite insulation removal.

In addition to specific cases where the homeowner already suspects the presence of vermiculite insulation, the tool could be used in home inspections, and before major home renovations as a preventive measure.

GS Can Help
If you have vermiculite insulation tainted with asbestos 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.

Asbestos Under the Ground

The Pan Am/Parapan Games have brought crowds, traffic and at least some of that economic spin-off they promised us taxpayers to the city. The Games also brought a slew of construction projects to Toronto and the GTA, including the Pan Am Athletics Stadium at York University.

In that situation, unfortunately, it looks like the taxpayers may also be on the hook for some additional costs – some of them due to asbestos found on the site.

Asbestos Underground
Among the unforeseen work and subsequent costs being claimed are those for costs and delays due to the discovery of asbestos both above and below the ground.

The open air stadium at the University’s Keele Cammpus seats 12,500 and the dispute about who owes what for which costs is likely to remain unresolved until the athletes have long gone home.

This type of cost overrun is not uncommon and is often already accounted for in the budgets for construction projects of this size. Many such contractual arrangements require the contractor to be insured against the costs of cleaning up harmful and toxic substances, including asbestos, mould and others.

Asbestos under the ground does pose a not insignificant risk. If it remains wet or embedded in mud or clay, it is not considered to be a risk. However, once exposed to the air, earth can dry out and asbestos can be released as inhalable particles in dust and spread on the wind. To make matters even more worthy of caution, when it’s underground – as in the case of the Pan Am Stadium – much of the time, the extent and exact nature of the material is unknown.

How did it get there?

The reasons for discovering asbestos underground can vary;

  • Buildings containing asbestos or asbestos containing materials (ACM) were not properly demolished and disposed of – the debris was simply buried underground;
  • Asbestos contaminated soil was used as fill or topsoil.

Very Important!
Remember: asbestos may be found on any site – residential or commercial. If you find old structures or materials under the ground when gardening or landscaping, don’t take chances – have it tested to find out exactly what it is.

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 or on your property, call the experts at GreenStream.

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 in Historic Sites

Another of Canada’s historic sites has fallen victim to old age and the cumulative effects of problems associated with older buildings – including asbestos.

The fifth-floor kitchen in Ottawa’s Government Conference Centre is now gone, along with the rest of the building. What made an unassuming kitchen a site of historic significance? It was the place where a deal was struck that saved the country’s constitutional accord.

The Kitchen Accord
According to Ottawa legend, future prime minister Jean Chrétien and the attorneys general, Roy McMurtry of Ontario and Roy Romanow of Saskatchewan met in the kitchen during the tense sessions that nearly ended with scuttled constitutional talks. Written on a napkin, it came to be known as the “Kitchen Accord”.

Today, the Conference Centre is undergoing renovations to prepare it to house the Senate – while the Centre Block that is usually the Senate’s home itself undergoes renovations.  The Senate requested that the kitchen be preserved as part of Canadian history, but the department of Public Works was forced to abandon those plans and demolish the room after a flood. Asbestos in the walls became a major issue.

“The flood that occurred in 2013 was caused by a broken pipe and resulted in the kitchen being dismantled,” said Public Works spokeswoman Annie Joannette.

Senators were only made aware of the change over the summer, when they went for a site visit. It’s sparked a controversy between the senators and Public Works.

Old Buildings and Old Problems
Renovations, flooding – anything that disturbs the integrity of walls and other structures in your home can also reveal old problems like asbestos.

  • Asbestos is considered safe as long as it is intact but dangerous if it has been damaged and the fibres become inhalable.

Let us help! If your home was built before the 1980’s, it almost certainly contains asbestos in one form or another. At GreenStream Environmental, our asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians are experienced and conscientious.

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.

 

Home renovations can create asbestos dangers

Asbestos is fairly common in older homes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).  Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is linked to several serious ailments, such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, which is a deadly and aggressive lung cancer. If asbestos is left alone if might pose little danger, but when it’s disturbed – like during a home renovation – its toxic fibers become airborne and can then be inhaled.

The past year saw the astoundingly popular Home Renovation Tax Credit, where Ontario homeowners could receive tax credits of up to $1,350 for renovating their homes.  While that’s over and done with, the Ontario Home Energy Savings Program, Home Energy Assistance Toronto and Canada’s ecoENERGY Rebate Program offer Ontario homeowners up to $11,000 in rebates and grants when they renovate their home with energy-efficiency in mind. These programs don’t expire for another year, and will likely see a lot more Ontarians renovating their older homes.

Whether these renovations are done by the homeowner themselves or by contractors, asbestos is a very real threat.  If the home was built before 1980, the chances it contains asbestos are extremely high, and the asbestos can be found in many building materials including tiling, siding, textured or “popcorn” ceilings, drywall and insulation. When any of these potential asbestos-containing items are disturbed, the fibers loosen (or become “friable”) and are then inhaled into the lungs.

In Ontario, it’s illegal for homeowners to attempt to remove any asbestos themselves because of the danger this poses. For the safety of everyone working on any future renovations and living within the home after they are complete, it’s important to have an inspection to determine if you do indeed have asbestos in your home so that it can be abated without creating a safety hazard.

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

Asbestos Removal in Toronto, Ajax, Barrie, Brampton, Etobicoke, Markham, Mississauga, North York, Oshawa, Peel Region, Pickering,  Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Woodbridge ,Vaughan and York Region Ontario.