Asbestos exposure is no laughing matter. Though it’s not as prevalent anymore in homes and construction use, it can still be found in older homes, buildings, and parts for vehicles and construction. There are still many buildings that require asbestos testing and removal in Vancouver. Firstly, do you know what asbestos is? And why it’s considered a health hazard? Keep reading to find out how you can keep your family and yourself safe from asbestos exposure.
You may have heard this material, widely known for its link to causing various forms of cancer. But do you know what asbestos is and how it had been used? Surprisingly, asbestos wasn’t fully banned in Canada until 2018. It’s mindblowing to think that it has taken several decades for the World Health Organization to call it a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). Asbestos has been infamous for being a health hazard yet it continues to linger in manufactured goods and as insulation today.
In this article, we’re going to break it all down for you. When you finish reading, you’ll come out feeling more informed and aware of its harmful existence. The more you know, the better decisions you can make.
Asbestos is a bundle of naturally occurring long, fibrous silicate crystals that can be found on every single continent. There are six different minerals combined to create this fiber. Prior to the 1990s, it was commonly used in construction as insulation, building materials, cement, electrical parts, and auto parts.
Between the 1950s to 1990s, it became prevalent across industries for its versatility, durability, sound-proofing, and heat-resistant qualities. This is why it was the perfect material for insulation. As the truth of it being a health hazard came out to the general public, usage declined significantly.
Just to give you a brief synopsis of the history of asbestos:
If you’re a history nut or just curious to find out more about the history of asbestos, you are going to learn a lot from this article by Asbestos.com.
According to The Government of Canada website: Asbestos-cement pipes were used in water distribution systems across Canada between the 1940s and 1960s because they were light, smooth, and corrosion-resistant. The use of asbestos-cement pipes has been largely discontinued since the 1970s, however, they remain in use in various drinking water distribution systems across Canada (1).
Even though there was a nationwide ban in Canada in 2018, asbestos is still being used today. There are loopholes in the system where companies are able to source products containing asbestos. Luckily Kathleen Ruff, activist and director of RightOnCanada.ca, has been working to stop production and exporting asbestos for good.
Inhaling asbestos dust is bad enough. But did you know that the dust was also found in runoff, bodies of water, and groundwater? Shockingly, homes and buildings built before 1990 most likely contain asbestos, unless you’ve had renovation done recently. Each month, there are still buildings that require asbestos removal in Vancouver. This is why we’re spreading awareness to help our community.
The asbestos crystalline fibers cling to the lungs and other organs causing cancer and other diseases. Some of the unfortunate fatalities and reprocussions include:
Now that you’re informed of what asbestos is and the harmful effects it has had on numerous people, here are a few questions for you:
When the asbestos fibres are broken up and handled, the microfibers become airborne. All things considered, this is precisely why licensed professionals wear full protective gear to ensure their safety.
High Mark One Call can test for asbestos right away!
Clearly, asbestos has caused harm to countless people who have been exposed to asbestos. By taking action to safely remove asbestos from your home and other potential parts that may be laying around your community, you can make a difference in creating a safer space to live and breathe. Call us today if you have any suspicions of asbestos in a building. We’re here to get asbestos removed for good!
(1) Government of Canada: Asbestos. Nov 15, 2021.