Exposing Workers to Asbestos Nets Vancouver Man Jail Time

Arthur Moore, a Vancouver area demolition contractor, was recently sentenced to a 60-day jail term for exposing his employees to the hazards of asbestos.

The case is a rare example of a jail term handed down to an employer who exposes his employees to preventable health risks, but did not go far enough according to some sources. Lawyers working on behalf of the B.C. Workers’ Compensation Board had asked for a term of 6 months to a year, and the president of the province’s Federation of Labour was quoted as saying the sentence wasn’t nearly long enough for “basically giving the death sentence to a whole lot of workers.” He noted that criminal neglect charges should have been filed as well.

Mr. Moore operated his demolition business in the greater Vancouver area under various company names, and the court documents detail a shocking case. Mr. Moore was in the habit of hiring recovering addicts, many of them teenagers and reportedly as young as 14. He then knowingly sent them to demolish buildings that contained asbestos materials without the proper protection. He’s said to have put the lives of some 50 workers at risk over the last few years.

Worker Safety = Client Safety
It’s the responsibility of every employer to ensure a safe work environment, and when it comes to asbestos exposure, the risks are well known. Since the harmful effects come from inhaling asbestos in its friable form, construction and demolition workers are at particular risk, along with those involved in the asbestos abatement and removal industries.

Here at GreenStream Environmental Services, we understand that protecting our workers means we’re protecting our clients too. If your contractor doesn’t care about his own employees, how can he ensure your safety? Our employees are experienced and fully certified to handle asbestos remediation, removal and clean-up, and operate with the highest standards of equipment and safety procedures.

Before any renovation projects, call in the experts from GreenStream Environmental Services for an asbestos inspection. At GreenStream Environmental Services, we offer expert and certified vermiculite and asbestos remediation services to help you contain and then rid yourself of this problem.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca 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 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.

Canadian Red Cross Exec Ignites Controversy with Asbestos Industry Links

Business and personal relationships with links to the asbestos industry may lead the Canadian Red Cross Society to ask for the resignation of one of its Executive Board Members. Board Member Roshi Chandha hit the headlines earlier this month when anti-asbestos activists questioned the propriety of her serving with an organization known for its humanitarian work around the world.

Balcorp Ltd.
At issue is the fact that Ms Chandha is the wife of Baljit Chandha, president of Montreal-based Balcorp Ltd. and the main push behind the bid to re-open the huge Jeffrey Asbestos Mine in Quebec. As part of the deal, Balcorp is looking for $58 million in loan guarantees from the Quebec government.

Roshi Chandha also serves as an executive of Seja Trade Ltd., a shipping company that exports asbestos to Asian countries. The company is a subsidiary of Balcorp.

The Canadian Red Cross does not normally look into the outside business interests of its board members, but has decided to meet and review Ms Chandha’s position early in the new year. The effort to bring her ties to the asbestos industry to light was spearheaded by anti-asbestos activist Leah Nielson, who grew up in Sarnia, Ontario and watched her father die of mesothelioma in 2008.  Her father worked in construction and brought home the asbestos fibres on his work clothes, and the deadly disease may also have affected her mother, who is currently under medical observation for a spot on her lung.

Asbestos Exposure
His example illustrates a lingering problem. Not only did construction workers of much of the 20th century expose themselves and their families to the deadly effects of asbestos, they left behind a wide variety of asbestos-tainted products routinely used in construction prior to 1970, including insulation, siding, ceiling and roof tiles and more.

Please note – 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 material is still intact; however any future nicks or breaks in the surface can mean a potential hazard.

At GreenStream Environmental Services, we offer professional vermiculite and asbestos remediation services. In the Toronto area  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 and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA including 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.

DRDC Building to be Renovated Due to Mould, Asbestos

The construction standards of yesterday become the renovation problems of the present, and government structures are no exception. Ottawa’s Public Works Department is renovating a building used by the Defence Research and Development Canada after a worker complained of headaches and other health related issues.

Mould Removal

Among other issues, water leaks had raised concerns about mould growth. Testing in previous years had found the presence of mould, some of which was toxic. A site inspection revealed rainwater pooling at the foundation which then leaked into the building, and the report included mention of the lack of gutters or flashing along the side of the roof, conditions that led to the leak.

Asbestos Removal

Bids are currently being sought for the $233,500 project, and include a provision requiring a specially certified asbestos abatement and removal company to deal with extensive asbestos as it exists throughout the building, including in the interior piping, floor tiles and window caulkings.

From cutting corners on flat roofing to using the latest “miracle material” for construction, what once seemed viable is now a public concern.

When it comes to your own home, keeping an eye on your roofing and being aware of materials used in your home are just the beginning. If you suspect the presence of mould in your home, or if you are experiencing suspicious and otherwise inexplicable health issues like frequent headaches, difficulty in breathing, eye irritation and other flu or allergy-like symptoms then you need help from the experts.

Please note – 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; however any future nicks or breaks in the surface can mean a potential hazard.

At GreenStream Environmental Services, we offer professional vermiculite and asbestos remediation services along with mould removal services for your one stop shop for peace of mind.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca 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 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.

Attack of the VATs: Removing vinyl asbestos tiles

When we think of the dangers asbestos poses, we often associate the tiny, carcinogenic fibres with easily visible structures, like roofing, ceilings, wall insulation and so on. One major asbestos threat often gets forgotten simply because it’s under our feet and not the first place we look. I’m talking about vinyl asbestos titles, or VATs.

Vinyl asbestos tiles are particularly dangerous because they’re easily mishandled. If the threat they pose isn’t respected during asbestos removal, they can release deadly fibres into the air.

The key with handling VATs is understanding their friability, or how easily they’re crumbled or broken into powder. If a given tile is non-friable – solid and not easily broken or crumbled – it’s far less dangerous, as VATs cause the most trouble when crumbled into dust. Friable VATs, be they poorly constructed or just old, are quite dangerous. One reason to have a trained asbestos removal company dispose of VATs for you is that the experts have a better idea of which tiles are friable and which aren’t.

Removing VATs is thus highly focused on keeping the tiles as non-friable as possible. Asbestos removal workers must assume every tile is a threat and treat it delicately. That means drills, saws, hammers or any equipment used to pulverize are absolute no-nos. It’s almost like we have to treat VATs like priceless glass.

One we have control of vinyl asbestos tiles, we follow a special procedure to transport them out of a given building. That may include wrapping them in plastic to ensure no loose fibres escape and taking them to EPA-approved landfill facilities where they are buried in a safe place.

As you can probably guess by now, VATs are not child’s play. Homeowners should not handle them at all. In fact, some regions prohibit homeowners from handling vinyl asbestos tiles without professional help.

As long as you respect VATs as the dangerous things they are and understand their delicacy and the expertise required to remove them, you’ll be safe.

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, 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.