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Asbestos Exposure: What you Need to Know

Asbestos is a hazard that the Green Coast team has to be aware of in certain aspects of our work. There are clear safety procedures that we follow to prevent asbestos exposure, especially at our deconstruction and demolition worksites, and we won’t touch a project until asbestos has been removed by a certified professional. This week on the blog, we’re raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure and sharing some resources that will get you started whether you’re planning a home renovation project or working on a commercial construction site.

Asbestos Exposure

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral composed of thin, needle-like fibers that became popular because of its tough, heat-resistant properties. Asbestos was used in over 3000 different building materials and products in Canada until the early 1990s and can be present in older home and building.

Who is at risk?

Anyone who repairs, renovates or demolishes older buildings is at risk of inhaling asbestos fibres.  

What are the health risks of asbestos exposure?

Breathing in asbestos fibres damages the lungs, causing very serious health problems down the road including asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma cancer, or lung disease.

How do you tell if asbestos is present?

Hire a qualified asbestos professional (or let us recommend one for you) to find out if asbestos is present in an older home or building before starting any work. Samples will be taken and analyzed at a lab.  If the tests are positive for asbestos, the next step is hiring a qualified abatement contractor to do the removal and certify that the site is safe.

Asbestos Exposure

Resources for more information:

There are some excellent resources for more information about dealing with asbestos for both homeowners and employers, contractors and workers:

Resources for homeowners:

WCB’s Interactive Asbestos Home
Asbestos Awareness for Home Owners
Asbestos & Gypsum Drywall  (Metro Vancouver)

Asbestos Exposure

Resources for employers, contractors, and workers

Asbestos (WorkSafeBC)
Safe Work Practices for Handling Asbestos (WorksafeBC) 

Asbestos Initiative: Commercial Properties

City of Vancouver: Asbestos Disposal Policy
Mesothelioma Resource Guide

 

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1 Comment
  1. Wow. Good article. Asbestos isn’t just a concern for homeowners or construction workers. It is a real hazard for anyone doing cleanup work on renovation sites. Thank you very much for bringing this to the public’s attention!

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