Working Around Asbestos

What’s it like to work around asbestos? That’s something the custodial workers in Ontario’s schools are worried about.

Asbestos in schools
When it comes to aging public buildings – of which Toronto and the GTA have more than a few – the options are often dictated by tight budgets. But, that shouldn’t mean that people have to work in dangerous conditions.

Custodial workers at Ontario schools have come together to voice their concerns.

  • They claim asbestos containing materials (ACM) is not properly contained and managed;
  • They also claim that their training in how to work around ACM has been inadequate.

The survey
Those are very serious issues that came to light in a survey conducted by occupational health researchers at the University of Toronto, involving 527 respondents.

  • Just under 70 percent said there were ACM in their schools;
  • About 25 percent say they interact with ACM directly;
  • About 66 percent say they interact with ACM indirectly;
  • One in three say they have never received any training.

Paul Demers, director, OCRC and lead researcher for the study, commented in a media release.

“Until the 1980’s we used a lot of asbestos in our public buildings, and that includes schools. It was thought of as a safety measure at the time, but we are now well aware of the significant risk to health for those exposed. Until we commit to the efforts needed to remove these substances from schools we must be vigilant about how we protect school workers.”

What about your home?
If your home or property was built before the mid-1980s, it is likely to contain asbestos in one form or another. You, too, need to know the facts.

  • You may find it anywhere from floor to ceiling tiles, basements to attics.
  • You can’t detect asbestos or ACM just by looking.
  • Any work that cuts into walls or creates dust can produce friable (inhalable) asbestos.

Let us help
Let us help. If you have asbestos anywhere in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. 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.

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