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Asbestos

Analyzing The Many Ways In Which Asbestos Can Kill You

If you’re under the impression that the title of this week’s blog is one of our more morbid choices, you’d be right. Make no mistake about it, asbestos is a killer. The toxic substance, which Canada finally outlawed just before the new year, is the nation’s number one workplace killer and the cause of thousands of deaths annually. The importance of protecting yourself from the dangers of asbestos cannot be understated.

Formerly used as insulation in the construction of homes and buildings – among many other uses – asbestos is practically harmless when left undisturbed. However, when its fibres become airborne – a common occurrence during renovations of older facilities – they can become trapped in the lungs, leading to such deadly diseases as mesothelioma, asbestosis and many cancers.

Mesothelioma.

According to Asbestos.com, asbestos is responsible for between 70 and 80 percent of all mesothelioma cases. It is a “signature” asbestos-related cancer and one of the most deadly diseases caused by the toxic substance.

“The cancer is named after the mesothelium, the thin protective lining where the tumors develop,” the website explains, “It can appear on the lining of the lungs, stomach, heart or testicles…Each type of mesothelioma is associated with a unique set of symptoms, but chest or abdominal pain and shortness of breath affect most patients, regardless of their specific diagnosis.”

Asbestosis.

Asbestosis is an incurable lung disease that is generally caused by years of occupational asbestos exposure. As you can imagine, it makes breathing very difficult. The disease has been found to be especially prevalent in individuals who work on construction sites, on ships and at industrial facilities where asbestos-containing materials are commonly found.

“Asbestosis is a type of pulmonary fibrosis, a condition in which the lung tissue becomes scarred over time,” explains Asbestos.com, “It is not a type of cancer, but asbestosis has the same cause as mesothelioma and other asbestos-related… Because this disease is similar to other types of pulmonary fibrosis, diagnosing asbestosis requires thorough medical and occupational histories in addition to medical testing.”

Cancer.

Not surprisingly, asbestos is a known cause for many different cancers including lung cancer, ovarian cancer and laryngeal cancer. Smokers who are exposed to asbestos are especially at risk of developing lung cancer. As Asbestos.com informs us, just ten years ago, it was confirmed that there is a link between asbestos-exposed women and ovarian cancer.

“Another asbestos-related malignant disease is laryngeal cancer,” says the site, “There is a proven link between the fibers and the disease. Other risk factors, such as smoking or drinking, are more likely to cause the cancer. The risk increases with the length and intensity of a person’s exposure.”

Asbestos.com goes on to note that esophageal cancer, gallbladder cancer, kidney cancer and throat cancer are also loosely associated with asbestos although studies have reported various degrees of success linking these cancers to asbestos exposure. “Until research indicates otherwise, asbestos may be able to increase a person’s risk for these cancers, but it is not a proven risk factor,” the website states.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take asbestos exposure very seriously. For 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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Canada-Wide Asbestos Ban Is Now In Full Effect

It’s a moment that the nation of Canada has been waiting for a long time. Announced back in December of 2016 by the federal government, the country’s comprehensive ban of asbestos is finally in full effect. As of December 30, 2018, asbestos is outlawed in Canada. We were remiss to not mention it in last week’s blog given how much extensive coverage of the subject has appeared in our blogs over the past couple of years.

The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations now prohibit the import, sale and use of asbestos and the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos, in Canada, with a limited number of exclusions. In a recently released fact sheet, which can be downloaded from a link on JobberNation.ca, full details of the new ban are given.

What is prohibited under the new regulations?

To be clear, the new regulations stipulate that any products that contain processed asbestos fibres at any level as well as consumer products that contain naturally-occurring asbestos in greater than trace amounts are prohibited.

“The Regulations also prohibit the sale, for use in construction or landscaping, of asbestos mining residues that are located at an asbestos mining site or accumulation area, unless authorized by the province in which the activity construction or landscaping is to occur,” reads the fact sheet, “In addition, the Regulations prohibit the use of asbestos mining residues to manufacture a product containing asbestos.”

What are the exclusions under the new regulations?

As the fact sheet details, there is a limited number of exclusions to what is prohibited. They include disposal, roads, importing military equipment, servicing military equipment, servicing equipment of nuclear facilities, museum display, laboratory use and Chlor-Alkali facilities. With the exception of disposal and roads, reporting is required for each of these exclusions.

“Permits are available for limited and specific circumstances when no technically or economically asbestos-free alternative is available,” the fact sheet informs, “Reports for excluded activities must be submitted before March 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the activities occurred. For permit holders, the reports must be submitted within 90 days after the day on which their permit expires.”

Asbestos is a known killer.

As we’ve noted on many occasions, in our blogs, the asbestos ban truly couldn’t have come soon enough. The toxic substance, which was once a staple in the construction of office buildings and homes, is a known killer. Breathing in its fibres is a proven cause of lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma – all deadly diseases.

“Between 2000 and 2016 the number of Canadians dying from mesothelioma increased from 292 deaths in 2000 to 510 in 2016 – an increase of 70 per cent,” reports Kathleen Ruff on RightOnCanada.ca, “In total, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada, almost seven thousand Canadians died from mesothelioma during this period.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are aware that this ban won’t automatically protect Canadians from exposure to the asbestos that already exists in their homes and places of work. So we’d like to help out where we can. For 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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Asbestos Will Finally Be Banned In Canada On December 30th

December 30th, 2018. That’s the date asbestos officially becomes outlawed in the country of Canada. Announced by the federal government in December of 2016, the nationwide ban of asbestos will have taken a total of two years to come into full effect. We’re not going to lie. We can’t understand the long delay. Asbestos, quite frankly, should have been banned a long time ago.

It’s no secret. Asbestos is a killer. Mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer are just three of the known deadly diseases brought on by asbestos exposure. The toxic substance, once a staple in the construction of homes and buildings, is known to be the number one cause of workplace deaths in Canada. “Good riddance” is all that comes to mind for the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team when thinking of asbestos.

What does the official asbestos ban entail?

As Kelly Franklin of ChemicalWatch.com, reports, “The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations will ban the import, sale and use of the material, as well as the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing it, with some exceptions.” Those exceptions, notes Franklin include legacy uses where asbestos was already integrated in structures that already contain the products.

In other words, old buildings that contain asbestos aren’t about to be torn down and replaced with asbestos-free constructions. Franklin also notes that mining residues are not covered by the new asbestos ban. She also points out that there are some time-limited exceptions as well as several ongoing exclusions to the ban.

What are the time-limited exceptions to the asbestos ban?

“The substance’s use in the chlor-alkali industry – where it is used as part of cell diaphragms to act as a filter in the manufacture of chlorine and caustic soda – has been protected until the end of 2029,” Franklin reports, “The proposal had called for the use to be discontinued from 2025, but was extended to ‘provide sufficient lead time to safely adopt asbestos-free technology’.”

In addition, there are exemptions for particular products that are used to service military equipment as well as service equipment in nuclear facilities. These exemptions expire in 2023 unless a permit is issued by the government to allow for them to continue.

What are the ongoing exclusions to the asbestos ban?

The reuse of road asphalt containing asbestos for the purpose of restoring asbestos mining sites or to create new road infrastructure will still be permissible. As well, if there is no feasible alternative, Canada can still import, sell and use military equipment serviced outside of Canada with an asbestos-containing product. Finally, the import, sale or use of products containing asbestos for display in a museum or use in a laboratory will still be allowed.

“In most of these cases, reporting and record-keeping is required, in addition to the preparation and implementation of an asbestos management plan,” notes Franklin.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we suppose later is better than never. However, for the health and safety of all Canadians, December 30th can’t come soon enough. If you would like 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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Canada Set To Implement Asbestos Ban By Year’s End…Sort Of

For the first half of 2018, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog covered the story of Canada’s proposed asbestos ban quite extensively. It has been nearly two years since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that our nation would finally be joining the many others that have outlawed the toxic substance. However, things seemed to come to a standstill this year. As a result, we haven’t blogged about the asbestos ban since the beginning of May.

Originally, the ban was intended to take full effect this year.

However, it appears as if it won’t be fully implemented until the end of the year – to some degree. As The Canadian Press reported last week via Global News, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has announced that the asbestos ban will come into effect by year’s end. However, it won’t apply to residues that have been left over from mining asbestos.

While the ban will prohibit the import, sale and use of processed asbestos fibres and the products that contain them, Quebec towns, where approximately 800 million tonnes of residue exist, will receive an exemption. “As much as 40 per cent of the leftover rock still contains asbestos,” reads The Canadian Press report.

The ban has been “watered down”.

Elizabeth Thompson of CBC News elaborates on the “watered down” regulations regarding the nationwide ban on asbestos. “The final regulations include new exemptions to allow the military, nuclear facilities and chlor-alkali plants to continue using the hazardous substance for several years,” she reveals.

She also offers some insight from Kathleen Ruff, who has long campaigned against asbestos. “They seem to have, if anything, weakened their proposed regulations and succumbed to lobbying by vested interests,” Ruff is quoted as saying, “I would give them huge credit for finally moving to ban asbestos…But I’m troubled by the fact that there are these weaknesses and gaps and, if anything, they seem to have gotten worse.”

McKenna, however, has downplayed the idea that there will be health implications due to the new exemptions. Instead, she stands pat on her belief that the federal government is keeping the promise it made back in 2016. “None of these exemptions will impact on human health,” McKenna insists, “These regulations ban the import, the sale, the use and the export of asbestos and products containing asbestos in Canada, as well as the manufacture of products containing asbestos.”

The impact of asbestos should not be taken lightly.

As we’ve reported in numerous blogs of past, asbestos is the number one cause of workplace death in Canada. “Since 1996, almost 5,000 approved death claims stem from asbestos exposure, making it by far the top source of workplace death in Canada,” reveals Tavia Grant of The Globe and Mail. Thompson also highlights the far-reaching and disastrous effects of asbestos exposure on the Canadian public.

“In its regulations, the government estimates that asbestos exposure was responsible for approximately 1,900 lung cancer cases in 2011 and 430 cases of mesothelioma — a cancer that affects a layer of tissue that covers many internal organs,” she reports.

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team is disappointed to learn of the exceptions made to the nationwide ban of asbestos, but still can’t wait for it to officially come into effect. As always, we remain dedicated to helping Canadians remove asbestos from their homes and places of work. For 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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Upping Your Commitment To Cleaner Air In Your Home This Summer

The time has finally come! Tomorrow, we get to celebrate the official start of summer! It’s a great time of year for Canadians as most of us spend a good portion of our days complaining about cold weather. During the summertime, however, Canucks enjoy being outside. But that doesn’t mean that an attention to the indoor air quality of our homes should be taken away. In fact, it’s vital to increase our commitment to improving the air in our homes.

High humidity usually creates condensation on the cool surfaces of our home. When this takes place, it’s not uncommon to see pools of water in places where they usually don’t occur. Left alone, these little pools of water can generate the growth of mould which is certainly hazardous to our health.

Keep the windows closed during high ozone days.

“How do you know when ozone is high?” asks the Reliance Home Comfort website, “Environment Canada has a real-time map of the ozone levels across Canada on any given day. They also provide a UV Index Forecast for each major Canadian city so you can get an idea of what the levels will be tomorrow or the day after. If it’s raining or it feels very humid outside, those are other times to keep your windows closed.”

Naturally, the summer also produces warmer temperatures. And, as a result, many of us tend to crank up the air conditioning. While this may help to cool things down inside the home, it also stands to spread around the dust particles and other debris that may have been accumulating throughout the year’s colder months. It’s vital that before you start using the A/C you clean its filters.

“Air-conditioning systems are always working to give your home that perfect temperature all year round,” acknowledges Petro.com, “But while they’re cycling through all that air, they’re filtering out some of those common air pollutants. Eventually, their air filters fill up and stop doing their job. Not only does that cause trouble for your indoor air quality, it also wears down your AC system, which can lead to costly repairs down the road.”

How old is your home?

This is an important question to answer when considering the quality of the air inside of it. As we’ve pointed out in numerous blogs before, homes that were built prior to the 1990s often contain asbestos materials for the purpose of insulation. Any disturbance of these materials can release asbestos fibres in the air presenting a major health hazard.

Canadian Living also reminds us that homes built before 1960 were often painted with lead paint, which is found in household dust. “Remove a paint chip to have it tested,” insists their website, “If you have lead, keep your home dust-free to protect against lead poisoning and hire an experienced contractor to sand or remove wall and ceiling materials contaminated with lead.”

It’s no secret that at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the issue of indoor air quality very seriously. We’d recommend a professional inspection of the air in your home this summer. For more information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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So What Exactly Will It Take For Asbestos To Be Banned?

Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are well aware of our stance on asbestos. For years, we’ve been utilizing our blog to expose the extreme dangers of the substance and have steadfastly stood behind our federal government’s proposal to ban asbestos this year. Our question, for quite some time and continues to be “What exactly is the hold up?”

With all of the evidence that shows that, without a shadow of a doubt, asbestos is the culprit behind numerous lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis diagnoses, its ban should have come a long time ago. Asbestos is widely known as the leading cause of workplace deaths in Canada. We understand that bans aren’t enacted overnight. But the nearly year and a half that has passed since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proposed the ban can’t exactly be described as overnight.

At this juncture, it seems as if it’s necessary for other politicians to get in on the action.

Bob Bailey is one such politician. He’s running for MPP in Ontario’s Sarnia-Lambton riding. As reported yesterday by Melanie Irwin on BlackburnNews.com, Bailey is making his stance on the banning of asbestos part of his platform. Evidently, he isn’t pleased that the nationwide ban of the toxic material isn’t yet in place.

“We stopped mining asbestos in 2011, but asbestos imports into Canada and especially in Ontario, have nearly doubled in value between 2011 and 2016 to $8.2-million for the year,” Bailey is quoted as saying in the article. The PC member is lobbying for the Ontario government to create a public registry of all provincially owned or leased buildings that contain asbestos.

Politicians south of the border are also taking a stance.

As reported by nwLaborPress.org last month, “Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici are sponsoring bills to ban the use of asbestos.” Merkley, who is a Democrat, insists that it’s “outrageous” that asbestos is still allowed to enter the United States in 2018. He is calling for the nation to “catch up” to the rest of the industrialized world to ban the deadly substance.

The article explains the dangers of asbestos in the most clear-cut way possible: “Each year, as many as 15,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases, and 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer typically caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos-related diseases typically take decades to develop. Mesothelioma, for example, has a latency period of 20 to 50 years.”

Seriously, what is the hold up with the ban?

With such a harrowing and scarily accurate explanation of the dangers of asbestos, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team can be forgiven for losing its collective patience. We can’t come up with a single reason why there remains a delay for the nationwide ban of asbestos to take effect in Canada. We’re equally surprised that our counterparts in the United States haven’t taken further action to ban asbestos as well.

As always, we will remain committed to assisting Canadians with the removal of asbestos from their homes and places of work. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Proposed Asbestos Ban Facing Some Criticism

Since December of 2016, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would finally implement a comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has been following the story quite closely. Originally, the plan was to have the toxic substance completely outlawed by 2018. Well, here we are in 2018 and we’re still awaiting word of the official passing of the long-promised ban.

In one of our several blogs covering the topic, we revealed that a “consultation period” was being requested to ask both the public and industry for feedback about the new policy regarding asbestos. This period concluded on March 22nd. Now, nearly three weeks removed from that consultation period, Canadians are left wondering what the holdup is.

What are the issues surrounding the asbestos ban?

According to Muller & Green – an organization that specializes in research, analysis, consulting and PR activity for local and global brands – the new asbestos policy may not be what it’s cracked up to be. In a recent report published by Newswire.ca, Muller & Green revealed that the Canadian government’s proposed ban of asbestos is facing some criticism. Although $114 million has been committed to implement a new policy, there are some holes in the specifics.

As Muller & Green report, there is apparently “no distinction between harmful asbestos such as the various amphibole asbestos and chrysotile, and ‘white asbestos’, still used in various products today. This omission is critical for numerous businesses and industries in Canada, which rely on products containing the non-harmful form of the mineral.”

Because of the lack of distinction between the different forms of asbestos, the proposed ban is likely to force a number of Canadian businesses to shut down. And while the health of Canadians is clearly far more important, the plan is also being criticized for not taking into consideration the work already being done to prevent asbestos-related diseases.

“One of the rationales for the proposal is economic, in terms of savings that will be made in health services from reduced cases of asbestos-related diseases,” reads the report, “However, regulations and prevention of asbestos-related diseases have been established, contradicting the health argument.”

What other concerns have arisen from the new proposal?

By not distinguishing the differences between the various forms of asbestos, there is a concern that billions of dollars will end up being wasted on removing “safe asbestos” from public buildings. The financial figures for the implementation of the plan, says the report, appear to be understated.

As well, the planned proposal for the ban has apparently exempted mining activities and the use of asbestos in the chlor-alkali industry. It has been reported that the use of asbestos in the chlor-alkali industry will remain acceptable until 2025.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re not convinced that there is a reasonable and safe way to continue to use any asbestos in this country. The damage that it has caused has been well documented. We need not another Canadian death that is asbestos-related. The time for the ban to take effect has come. In fact, it is well past due.

Of course, in the meantime, our team remains dedicated to helping Canadians to remove asbestos from their homes and places of work. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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24 Sussex Drive Becoming Known As An Asbestos Haven

Last month, our blog reported on the fact that Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is one of the few leaders of our country to avoid living at 24 Sussex Drive. Traditionally known as the home of the sitting Prime Minister, the Ottawa-based mansion appears to be in ruins. Requiring millions of dollars in renovations, the property is now becoming known as a very high health hazard.

There is more asbestos inside 24 Sussex Drive than originally thought.

As Catharine Tunney reports today for CBC News, 24 Sussex Drive has more asbestos contained within it than previously thought. Who can blame Trudeau for ditching the residence for nearby Rideau Cottage? Of course, as the son of Pierre Trudeau, our current Prime Minister spent time living at 24 Sussex Drive as a child. He is unlikely to ever return thanks to the presence of asbestos.

“Asbestos has been condemned by the World Health Organization as a health threat and the once-common fireproofing material is now banned in some 50 countries around the world,” Tunney explains, “Canada was once a leading world supplier of the carcinogenic mineral. It’s linked to mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that can develop in the lining of the lungs as a result of inhaling asbestos dust and fibres.”

She goes on to reveal that in 2015, an engineering firm called Exp Services Inc. investigated the main building, the pool house and the neighbouring RCMP building at 24 Sussex. They surveyed for hazardous materials including asbestos and lead paint. Previously, they had received reports that the plaster contained within the walls was asbestos-free. However, their investigation discovered that wasn’t the case.

CBC News obtained a report through the Access to Information Act that revealed that the grey coarse plaster within the property was indeed asbestos-containing. The report notes that should the plaster go undisturbed, 24 Sussex would be safe for its inhabitants. Any renovations, however, would send asbestos fibres airborne. And, as we pointed out last month, the property is in serious need of renovations.

The asbestos-containing plaster at 24 Sussex can be easily disturbed.

Laura Lozanski is an occupational health and safety officer with the Canadian Association of University Teachers and one of Canada’s most active asbestos educators. In Tunney’s article, she reveals that just rubbing up against the plaster or drilling into it will release toxic asbestos fibres. “Once the fibres are disturbed they go into the air and that’s how we either breathe them in or ingest them,” she is quoted as saying, “So we always have quite serious concerns.”

Since 2011, no asbestos has been removed from 24 Sussex Drive. Of course, should there be any renovations made to the property, construction workers will be placed at risk. Staffers who have already been inside the mansion may already be at risk. “That’s why the Public Service Alliance of Canada has been pushing the federal government to create a national registry of public buildings that contain asbestos,” Tunney writes.

As you’re very likely aware, the team at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. takes the matter of asbestos exposure very seriously. As we patiently await the nation’s official implementation of the comprehensive asbestos ban, we continue to work with Canadian home and business owners to keep their properties as safe as possible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Australia Still Battling Effects Of Asbestos 15 Years After Ban

Back in December of 2016, the Government of Canada finally announced its plan to implement a nationwide ban of asbestos, set to take effect this year. As we’ve been highlighting in numerous blogs since then, the comprehensive ban of the toxic material can’t come soon enough. Among the many deadly diseases caused by asbestos exposure is mesothelioma. And sadly, it’s something that is bound to continue to threaten the lives of Canadians long after the ban is in place.

This is evidenced by the fact that Australia continues to be haunted by health hazards that have been brought on by its legacy of asbestos mining. As reported by Alex Strauss on SurvivingMesothelioma.com, the ‘land from down under’ banned all forms of asbestos nearly fifteen years ago. However, a new report reveals that mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases continue to affect the lives of Australians.

Mesothelioma affects thousands of Australians.

The report, authored by researchers at the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute and published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, explains that while mesothelioma cases have levelled off over the past decade, more than 16,000 Australians were diagnosed with the disease between 1982 and 2016.

Strauss notes that the country’s status as the top user of asbestos in the world between the 1960s and 1970s has a lot to do with its high rates of pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. Evidently, Australia took too long to ban asbestos even though there were growing concerns about the toxic mineral all those decades ago. Asbestos was not officially banned in Australia until 2003.

Dr. Matthew Soeberg of the University of Sydney is the first author of the new report. He believes that Australia is headed in the right direction but, along with his colleagues, believes that a greater focus must be placed on “preventing the devastating effects of avoidable asbestos-related diseases.”

Who is still most at risk of asbestos exposure?

Individuals who attempt to take on home renovation projects on their own are putting themselves in danger. If their buildings contain asbestos, they are at a high risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. This is true in both Australia and the United States.

“In the US, virtually every home and public building constructed before 1980 is presumed to contain some amount of asbestos,” writes Strauss, “To minimize the risk for pleural mesothelioma, homeowners are urged to seek professional guidance before starting a remodelling project that could disturb asbestos.

He goes on to point out that Australia is one of 55 countries that have official asbestos bans in place. Both the United States and Canada are excluded from that list. Of course, we continue to wait, somewhat impatiently, for Canada’s asbestos ban to officially take effect. But even when the ban is in place, measures will still need to be taken in order to limit asbestos exposure and significantly diminish the number of future asbestos-related disease diagnoses.

Australia has proven that we still have a long road ahead of us.

But, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are certainly willing to do our part! For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Asbestos A Factor In Keeping The Prime Minister Out Of 24 Sussex Drive

The White House in Washington, D.C. is world famous for being the residence of the sitting President of the United States. Known to a lesser degree, but widely recognized throughout Canada, is 24 Sussex Drive – the Ottawa, Ontario residence of Canada’s Prime Minister. That is, of course, until now. Reports have described the 19th century structure as one that is practically uninhabitable.

24 Sussex Drive is “deteriorating, mouse-infested (and) hydro-draining”.

As Catharine Tunney of CBC reports, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was raised at 24 Sussex Drive during his father Pierre’s tenure as Prime Minister in the early 1980s, isn’t likely to return to the “deteriorating, mouse-infested, hydro-draining and oft-spoofed official residence of Canada’s head of government”.

Originally named Gorffwysfa, which is Welsh for “place of peace”, the stone mansion which sits at 24 Sussex Drive is in desperate need of renovations. However, the Prime Minister is of the mind that taxpayer money shouldn’t go to the upkeep of the home of its nation’s leader.

“There’s a real challenge in this country,” Trudeau is quoted as saying in Tunney’s article, “Anything that a prime minister decides that they can potentially benefit from — that’s one of the reasons that that house has gone into the ground since the time I lived there — is that no prime minister wants to spend a penny of taxpayer dollars on upkeeping that house.” The Trudeau family lives in a nearby Rideau Cottage instead of the traditional home of the Prime Minister.

24 Sussex Drive is in need of “urgent” repairs.

Tunney notes that an auditor’s report from ten years ago reported that a repair bill would run upwards of $10 million. The 35-room residence, in fact, hasn’t had any major renovations since 1951. “It also found the windows, plumbing, electrical systems, heating and air conditioning in poor to critical condition, and noted the home had no fire sprinklers and contained asbestos,” she reports.

As if this description of the Canadian Prime Minister’s intended home isn’t bad enough, the presence of asbestos in the mansion is yet another reason it has become so undesirable. In fact, there have been calls by former residences of 24 Sussex Drive for it to be torn down and replaced with a structure befitting the leader of a nation.

One such former resident is Maureen McTeer. The wife of former Prime Minister Joe Clark feels that the building isn’t worth saving, especially considering that its 1951 renovations stripped it of all of its original fixtures. In a separate CBC report by John Paul Tasker, McTeer also points out that the presence of asbestos at 24 Sussex Drive simply makes the residence unlivable.

24 Sussex Drive is “an old, crumbling building with asbestos”.

“This residence is much more than just a house — or even a place where prime ministers live while they’re in office — it should represent an idea of Canada,” she is quoted as saying in an interview with Rita Celli on CBC Radio’s Ontario Today, “That’s why an old, crumbling building with asbestos, which we know is poison, really is so lacking of vision, if you will, and [does not reflect] who we are as Canadians.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are definitely of the mind that our nation’s leader deserves a better home. However, we also believe that all Canadians deserve to live in asbestos-free residences. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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