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With Canada just one month away from celebrating its 150th anniversary, there are many Canadians taking a look back at the past 150 years to truly appreciate how far we have come as a nation. Of course, a lot has happened in the past century and a half. And due to the vast amounts of research that have been conducted, our society has learned so much about what we can do to live better – stronger and longer.

Of special note to the team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., is the fact that asbestos has had its reputation completely dismantled. And with good reason, of course. Peter Kenter is one of those Canadians taking a look at our nation’s 150 years. On JournalOfCommerce.com, he points out that at the end of the 19th century, “asbestos had all the makings of a miracle construction material…By the beginning of the 21st century, its reputation had fallen to that of a carcinogen and toxic substance.”

Readers of our blog are well aware of how concerned we’ve been about asbestos and the impact it has had on the health of Canadians. It can never be repeated enough times – 2,000 Canadians die every year due to asbestos-related diseases. We’re happy to know that, as we embark on celebrating Canada’s 150th, asbestos is on its way out of our country for good. The federal government finally called for a comprehensive ban of the toxic substance to take full effect next year.

The problem, of course, is that asbestos has wreaked irreparable harm that won’t soon be alleviated. As Kenter reveals, “Cancer research group CAREX Canada estimates that approximately 152,000 Canadians are exposed to asbestos in the workplace…Asbestos exposure, primarily the inhalation of fibres, can cause: asbestosis and pleural thickening, diseases related to the scarring of lung tissue; lung cancer; and mesothelioma, a cancer of the tissues lining internal organs.”

The scary implications of asbestos exposure just go to show you how important medical research has been over the past 150 years. As mentioned, asbestos was once heralded as a hero in the world of building construction due, in part, to its ability to withstand extremely high temperatures. It was thought that its use as an insulator would be effective in preventing fires. So says Dr. Jessica van Horssen who is a leading researcher of the history and impact of asbestos in Canada.

During the First World War, “electricity was a very dangerous new technology that often resulted in great fires sweeping major urban centres,” she explains in Kenter’s article, “Asbestos can withstand heat of up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The mineral was suddenly an essential inclusion in home insulation, electrical wire coverings and materials used to prevent buildings from burning down.”

Kenter goes on to remind us about how much asbestos was thought to have “hero” qualities. It was used in such construction products as pipe coverings, wire coverings, fireproof boards, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, roofing shingles, cement, asphalt, paint and plaster. And while asbestos may have been quite useful, today it is known primarily for being a culprit for deadly diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.

We, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., would like to offer you a hearty Happy Canada Day – one month in advance! On July 1st, we will not only be celebrating our nation’s 150th, but also the last year when asbestos will be legal in our country. Now that’s worth celebrating!

For more information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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