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.
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