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Avoiding Asbestos Makes For A Happy New Year

asbestos road sign illustration design over a white backgroundOn behalf of everyone at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we would like to wish you a very Happy New Year! Those who are familiar with our company know that we consider “happy” to be synonymous with “healthy”. So really, we wish you a very healthy new year. And, of course, the way we see it, the cleaner the air you breathe, the healthier you will be. Here’s hoping your New Year’s Resolutions will allow for that!

For many Canadians, home renovations are a big part of what makes them happy. And a lot of people place renovations on their New Year’s Resolutions lists. It’s important, however, to keep in mind that renovating your home can present some health hazards that are surely not in keeping with having a healthy new year. Specifically, if your home contains asbestos, you’ll definitely need to have it removed before you make any changes to your home.

Asbestos, when completely left alone, isn’t generally considered harmful. But disturbing asbestos so that its fibres become airborne can be deadly. Inhaling asbestos fibres is known to casuse lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis and other respiratory damage. Can you believe that the material was so widely used decades ago? In fact, Kat Sieniuc of The Globe and Mail reports that it was actually freely used in schools and homes in, what is now known to be, dangerous ways.

“Some 60 years ago, lumps of wet, grey material were given to students in art classes to shape and mould into art to proudly display at home,” informs Sieniuc, “It was especially good for objets d’art such as candle holders, since the substance was famous for stopping the spread of flames.” She goes on to make clear that today, asbestos is regarded as the toxic material that it is and that there is “no safe level of exposure.”

Before this was common knowledge, asbestos was popularly used in the construction of homes, office buildings and schools as a source of insulation. It was wrapped around pipes that are found behind our walls and above our ceilings. And now, asbestos is known as “the biggest workplace killer in the country”. Sieniuc reveals, however, that saying that asbestos is safe when undisturbed really isn’t a smart way to practice safety.

“The World Health Organization has declared all forms of asbestos carcinogenic and recommends its use be eliminated; the International Agency for Research on Cancer has said there is no safe form of asbestos, nor is there a threshold level of exposure that is risk-free,” she writes. However, there are many schools across Canada that attempt to “contain” asbestos during their renovations. This simply isn’t good enough.

The University of Manitoba’s Dr. Patricia Martens knows this all too well. Sieniuc reveals that in 2012, Dr. Martens was diagnosed with incurable mesothelioma. How did she contract the deadly disease? “Her accidental exposure came as a University of Manitoba student, she believes, in the huge dining-exam room in which she ate her lunch every day,” explains Sieniuc, “It had an open-slat ceiling with beautifully finished wood – and asbestos filling stuffed in the gaps.”

It’s vital that you remember to check for asbestos before making any renovations to your home or office. If asbestos is in your property, and it is disturbed, you make yourself susceptible to some very negative health implications. Let’s avoid that. Contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. and ask about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services today. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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