A Homeowner’s Quick Guide To Asbestos

If your home was built before the mid 1980s, there is a good chance is contains asbestos or asbestos containing materials (ACM). At one time, the so-called miracle material was used in a wide variety of applications, literally from floor to ceiling, attic, and roofing materials.

Asbesto – A Colossal Mistake
It’s not hard to see why asbestos quickly became popular in both residential and home construction.

  • It’s heat resistant;
  • It’s water resistant;
  • It’s virtually indestructible.

It was often mixed with other materials such as concrete or vinyl to produce tiles for roofing and flooring, pipes and pipe insulation, among many other specialized uses.

It wasn’t until decades after it first became widely used in the early 1900s that the signs of its tragic legacy would become known. The first wave of asbestos victims includes many factory, construction, and other workers who became exposed on the job. The presence of asbestos fibres in the lungs can lead to many health issues including cancers and deadly mesothelioma.

  • The problem with asbestos in the home is that, over time, even ACM can deteriorate, and release asbestos fibres into the air.

How Do You Know
Since asbestos was so widely used and ACM can contain a variety of other materials, you can’t be sure of being able to recognize it just by sight. It may be present in:

  • Ceiling tiles (often called acoustic ceiling tiles);\
  • Popcorn ceilings and textured paints;
  • Wall panels;
  • Vinyl floor tiles;
  • Older carpet adhesives;
  • Attic insulation;
  • Pipe & boiler insulation;
  • Window and door caulking;
  • Roof shingles.

What you might see:

  • The only visual clue you may sometimes see is a kind of dimpling effect, visible in things like ceiling and floor tiles.
  • Asbestos sheeting used in homes and other buildings such as sheds was often joined with metal runners if outdoors. Indoor sheets were most often joined with wood or plastic runners.
  • Around windows and doors, inside or out, be leery of any old adhesive material, such as joint cement or putty.
  • Be especially cautious of any old insulation material that becomes exposed.

What Can I Do?
No amount of asbestos exposure is considered safe according to the latest medical findings.

  • Do not attempt to remove it yourself.
  • Do not attempt to handle it in any way yourself.
  • Seal off any questionable area as best you can, and get 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, The Law, And You

This blog has covered many cases in Toronto, the GTA and beyond involving incompetent and unethical asbestos removal companies and operations, and the dangers they pose. But, what happens when you are the property owner? What are your obligations when it comes to asbestos in construction and renovation projects?

Ontario law specifies several designated substances along with asbestos, including acrylonitrile, arsenic, benzene, coke oven emissions, ethylene oxide, isocyanates, lead, mercury, silica, and vinyl chloride.

In the province of Ontario, the law regulating asbestos is called O.Reg. 278/05—Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations. Unlike some other provinces, the Ontario asbestos law makes a distinction between homeowners and landlords.

If you own a property,

  • Of more than four units;
  • Where you and your family members do not live.

Here, the law it clearly spelled out.

• Before beginning a project, the owner shall determine whether any designated substances are present at the project site and shall prepare a list of all designated substances at the site.
• The owner shall ensure that a prospective constructor of a project on the owner’s property has received a copy of the designated substance assessment.
• The owner who fails to comply with Section 30 is liable to the constructor and every contractor who suffers any loss or damages as the result of the subsequent discovery on the project of a designated substance that the owner ought reasonably to have known of but that not listed in the designated substance report.

However, if you own the property you live in, you are excluded from that obligation. The law specifically excludes the following:

(4) This Regulation does not apply to an owner of a private residence occupied by the owner or the owner’s family or to an owner of a residential building that contains not more than four dwelling units, one of which is occupied by the registered owner or family of the registered owner. O. Reg. 278/05, s. 2 (4).

Homeowners Beware
Exclusion from that specific part of the law doesn’t mean you’re off the hook, however. If you are plannning on renovations or any installation that will involve cutting into walls, ceilings or floors, you should be aware of possible legal liability.

Make no mistake – the exclusion does not remove legal liability you may incur as a home or property owner if someone is exposed to asbestos on your premises.

So, you’ve got contractors at your home and they discover asbestos in your attic. They sue. You’ve got homeowner’s liability insurance to take care of that, right?

Wrong again. Let’s talk about the Asbestos Exclusion.

The “Asbestos Exclusion”
Since the 1970s, when the threat of asbestos finally came to be widely known, property insurance companies have included a standard Asbestos Exclusion in their policies as a matter of routine. In short, it means they refuse liability for any damages caused by asbestos in your home.

The clause has been tested by court law, notably a case called 1604945 Ontario Inc. v. Lloyd’s Underwriters, [2010] where two landlords were sued by tenants for asbestos exposure that resulted from renovations. The respondents tried to involve their insurance coverage, and the insurance company successfully defended the exclusion. That means, when it comes to asbestos, you are on your own.

What Can You Do?
As a homeowner, if you plan on renovations, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself.

  • Review your insurance policy, and if necessary, discuss it with your agent or broker.
  • If you are a landlord, you should get legal advice from your lawyer.
  • Find out whether you have asbestos (or any other hazardous substances) on your property with a certified inspection.
  • An asbestos removal procedure provides true peace of mind.

That’s Where We Come In
If your home contains asbestos or ACM, we can help. You can trust the experienced asbestos removal experts and asbestos remediation experts at Green Stream Environmental to take care of your environmental 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.

Asbestos Regulations and You

There are more and more stories in the news about shady asbestos removal companies and the messes they leave behind. It’s not just in the GTA, but all over the continent. As asbestos regulations tighten, it seems like the unscrupulous characters are looking to wiggle out of taking the right precautions.

At GreenStream Environmental Services, we know how important it is to take the right precautions. It protects not just our employees, but our clients, and even their neighbours.

But, as a home or property owner, do you know the law? What happens if you have asbestos removal work done in a property you occupy as a tenant?

The Regulations

  • The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), Regulation 278/05 covers asbestos regulation on construction projects and in building and repair operations.
  • The Regulation applies to every project, the owner of the building, and/or his agent, including contractors or subcontractors hired to do work on the premises.
  • Important: the term “owner” in the Act does include tenants. Under some circumstances, the tenant of a building may be considered to be either the owner or occupier. If, as a tenant, you have been notified that there is asbestos or ACM (asbestos containing materials) in the premises that you occupy, then it becomes your responsibility to notify anyone working on your premises of the hazard.

Your responsibilities include:

  • Taking “every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
  • Preparing a list of any hazardous substances, including asbestos, and their location, and make it available to the contractor or other person doing the work for hire.

This includes repairs, renovations, maintenance, demolotion, or other similar work.

  • Owners of buildings with known asbestos or ACM are required to have an asbestos management program in place, even if there is no work being done.

Find out more at:

We Can Help
If your home contains asbestos or ACM, we can help. You can trust the experienced asbestos removal experts and asbestos remediation experts at Green Stream Environmental to take care of your environmental 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.

Asbestos in the Basement: Pipe Insulation

Asbestos was once thought of as a “miracle” construction material. It’s heat and fire resistant, and nearly indestructible, so it’s not hard to see where that idea came from. It was only decades later that people discovered the dark side to this naturally occurring mineral – mesothelioma and other lung diseases. Asbestos’ indestructible nature become lethal once it has entered your lungs.

Asbestos All Over
If your home was built before the mid-1980s, there’s a good chance it contains asbestos or ACM (asbestos containing materials) which may be found literally from floor to ceiling.

You may be aware of issues like vermiculite insulation, typically used in the attic, and which may be contaminated with asbestos. There are also asbestos/vinyl floor tiles, and even asbestos containing ceiling tiles. But, did you know you’ll need to check the basement too?

  • In particular, if you have an older radiator system or boiler, the pipes were often wrapped in asbestos insulation.
  • Even if the heating system has been upgraded, the old pipes are often left in place.
  • Now, the material is considered safe as long as it is intact. However, the lifespan of most insulating materials is a couple of decades. That means, as it deteriorates, more and more of the asbestos may be exposed and posing a potential danger.

Asbestos insulation was used on piping in old industrial buildings as well as in homes. Peterborough, to the east of the GTA, is home to a now controversial General Electric plant where workers were exposed to a variety of hazards. Asbestos wrapped piping is yet another of the issues that is now being reconsidered as a hazard as the WSIB looks into old claims it once denied.

Get Professional Help
Don`t take the chance. If you suspect or know of the presence of asbestos in your home, our experienced technicians offer professional, certified asbestos removal or asbestos remediation services.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for an asbestos removal or asbestos remediation 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.

Toronto Case Highlights Asbestos Exposure In Schools

A Toronto area woman recently made headlines when she withdrew her son from a daycare operated by the TDSB out of fear of asbestos exposure.

The daycare was operating in the basement of a high school, which was to undergo asbestos abatement procedures. School officials assured the parent there were proper procedures in place, including,

  • Work by a professional contractor with standard processes for removal and containment;
  • Air quality testing;
  • Relocating the daycare within the building, farther away from the asbestos removal work.

When the Ministry of Education got involved, it resulted in a meeting between officials and parents.

It seems like communication – or the lack of it – was one of the issues at hand, and as an asbestos removal company, we have to agree that it’s one of the important components of a successful process from start to finish. It’s crucial in a case where people are living or working in a building when asbestos work is going on.

Asbestos Exposure
No amount of asbestos exposure is considered safe. It becomes particularly important when it comes to children, because there are a number of studies that show the risk of developing mesothelioma and other lung diseases is increased the younger the exposure occurs.

Asbestos, or more likely, asbestos containing materials such as floor or ceiling tiles, vermiculite insulation, or pipe insulation, is considered safe as long as the material is intact. But, as in this case, any activity such as,

  • Renovations;
  • Installation of alarm or home theatre systems;
  • Floor or fire;
  • Or anything that damages the integrity of walls or other construction materials;

can cause asbestos laden dust to be created. Once airborne, it can be inhaled into the lungs – and it can spread throughout your home via the HVAC system.

We Can Help
If you believe your home contains asbestos, 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.

GreenStream – Asbestos Removal In The News

A CBC Toronto Radio programme – Here And Now – recently had a show on asbestos and what the troublesome mineral means for homeowners. When they looked to an expert to provide some context, they looked no further than our own Manny Oliveira, owner of GreenStream Environmental.

As the show and the interview highlighted, asbestos is a problem in the GTA simply because there are so many older homes in our area. As Manny pointed out, there are still many homes in the GTA built between 1900 and 1979 – when asbestos was banned from most residential uses.

Asbestos can show up in many places in your home, and is often mixed with other substances to create “asbestos containing materials” (or ACM). These include:

  • Insulation – usually attic insulation as asbestos contaminated vermiculite;
  • Mixed with plaster and drywall compound;
  • Vinyl floor tiles;
  • Acoustic ceiling tiles;
  • Insulation on heating and boiler pipes, typically in the basement.

As Manny told the show hosts, it is often impossible to determine if these compounds contain asbestos with a visual inspection. A comprehensive survey and professional testing is the only sure way.

Asbestos Removal – Don’t Do This At Home!
Asbestos removal is a regulated industry with good reason. You may be tempted to remove certain substances yourself, but you should be aware that anytime you are creating asbestos dust, your health is in danger without the proper protective equipment that a professional uses.

Some types of asbestos removal are fairly straightforward. Floor tiles using a mixture of vinyl and asbestos can simply be removed by professionals wearing the proper gear. If it is mixed with plaster or drywall, then the process gets more complex. In addition to protective equipment, the asbestos removal technicians have to shower on site before they leave to avoid spreading that dust outside the contained work area.

It’s not just about removing it, it’s about properly and safely disposing of the material. It can get complicated, as you can see!

You Can Trust GreenStream
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 and Vermiculite – a Double Whammy

A town in southwest Ontario just discovered a nasty surprise during the course of demolishing an old school — the double whammy of asbestos and vermiculite insulation.

During the demolition of the former Doverwood school in Port Dover, it was already known that asbestos was present. However, when the job began, workers discovered more than they bargained for in the form of 94 asbestos-containing pipe elbows and vermiculite insulation in 30 closets and the wall cavities of several classrooms. The cost of the demolition job just went up be several thousand dollars.

Vermiculite Insulation
Vermiculite is a material that you can find in potting soil, among other things. Geologically speaking, vermiculite is an aluminum-iron-magnesium silicate. It’s special property is that it expands a great deal and develops air pockets when it is heated, something like popcorn. It becomes lightweight and fireproof. Sounds like an ideal material for insulation.

The problem with vermiculite insulation is that most of the vermiculite that was used in North America comes from the Libby Mine in Montana, were the vermiculite deposits were laced with asbestos. Most of it was manufactured and sold under the name Zonolite® or Zonolite® Attic Insulation.

Rest assured, Zonolite hasn’t been on the market since about 1990. The material is not considered dangerous as long as it’s sealed up in your walls or attic, however, the health risks from direct exposure and inhaling the asbestos fibres are very real, including a host of respiratory issues and even deadly mesothelioma.

Take Action
If you have vermiculite insulation in your attic, your safest course of action is vermiculite removal. There are some additional protective measures you can take on your own.

  • Don’t store things in the attic, or go into the attic space for any reason. No amount of asbestos exposure is considered safe.
  • Seal all cracks in the ceilings, including caulking around light fixtures, electrical fixtures, and baseboards, to prevent any dust from seeping through below.
  • Caulk windows and door frames too, since attic insulation can fall down through the walls below.

You can trust the experienced asbestos and vermiculite 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 Containment – Company Prosecuted

It may take a while, but the wheels of justice do turn every now and then. This summer, six Manitoba companies were prosecuted for Workplace Safety and Health Act violations. Most of the cases were already two to three years old and one involved asbestos exposure.

The Manitoba government released the details to remind employers about workplace safety. When it comes to asbestos, it’s also a timely reminder about asbestos tainted insulation.

Asbestos tainted insulation
A company was fined after exposing one of its workers to asbestos dust. The employee of a spray foam insulation company began to have trouble breathing after removing existing insulation on a job site. After the worker called the Workplace Safety and Health board, an official inspected the site and issued a stop work order.

The existing insulation was tested and found to contain asbestos. The employer was charged with failing to have a plan for controlling asbestos dust, which then became airborne.

Asbestos containment
During removal of any asbestos containing material, the process itself will create airborne asbestos dust, which can enter the lungs and cause a range of health issues up to and including deadly mesothelioma.

When our GreenStream technicians come to a job site, having a detailed plan and procedures for containing that asbestos dust and making sure it does not spread as they remove it in bulk is something we take for granted. It protects not just workers but our clients too.

If you own a home or property that was built before the mid 1980s then asbestos is something you need to consider,

  • When you’re renovating;
  • When you’re installing a home theatre system;
  • When you’re doing any work that opens up the walls or disturbs older insulation or caulking;
  • When you’re replacing a “popcorn” ceiling.

Be safe, not sorry
We can 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.

Transite Sheeting – an Asbestos Containing Material

The news this past week of demolition work on hold in BC is a timely reminder of the potential dangers of asbestos containing materials – or ACM.

Demolition of a nursery in British Columbia was put on hold by WorkSafe BC because of the suspected presence of asbestos. Specifically, the stop work order lists the presence of Transite sheeting which was found near two of the greenhouses. It turns out that there had been no prior inspection of the premises for hazardous substances like asbestos.

What is Transite sheeting?
Transite is the brand name for a product type that was developed and first sold in 1929 by Johns-Manville product. Transite contains a mixture of concrete and asbestos for a variety of applications. Transite used for electrical ducts, for example, contained 15-25% chrysotile asbestos, 45-55% Portland cement and 25-35% silica.

Adding asbestos to the composite material strengthened the cement and allowed the material to be rolled into very thin sheets without sacrificing its stability. That meant it could be formed and used for many different products, including boards and piping. Transite can be found in a wide variety of areas, including;

  • siding
  • roof shingles
  • furnace flues
  • chimneys
  • HVAC systems
  • plumbing
  • walk-in coolers

As with any ACM, the material is considered safe as long as it is intact. However the age of any asbestos containing Transite nowadays along with outside factors such as fire, flood or even renovations can create dangerous asbestos dust which can be inhaled.

Asbestos was phased out of use in Transite in the 1980s. It should be noted, however, that it still contains crystalline silica, which is itself a respiratory hazard.

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.