A Saskatchewan woman’s housing nightmare is typical of what many renters and in particular lower income tenants have to deal with across Canada, but it uncovers a common issue many property owners will relate to: a mouldy basement.

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As reported in Postmedia News recently, documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act seem to clearly indicate that the Canadian government has been helping to promote the supposedly “safe” mining and use of chrysotile asbestos even as it acknowledged the documented health risks. This comes in direct contrast to the current federal government’s repeated assertions that Canada’s position has been consistent throughout.

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The link between asbestos and lung disease, particularly deadly mesothelioma, has been well established for decades. A recent study published in the international peer-reviewed British journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine has found a link between asbestos exposure and cardiovascular disease too.

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After vermiculite insulation was found in a Peterborough area school about a year ago, the Ministry of Labour completed an inspection and the substance was determined to be contained and therefore not an immediate risk. Containment of the substance is a key issue, however, and the local school board then instituted a practise of monthly inspections for the some 40 schools thought to contain the vermiculite insulation, along with annual inspections for asbestos in all the district’s schools

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Asbestos was so widely incorporated in both residential and industrial construction at one time (largely from the 1930’s to 1970) that it was used in areas you may not be expecting. Here’s a look at some of the lesser known places you might find it in an older home.

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