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Asbestos

Asbestos Remains A Health Threat To Canadians In Spite Of Recent Ban

When the federal government finally announced a comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos, just before the new year, Canadians were elated to learn of this huge step towards better health. It’s widely known that asbestos is a deadly substance. Commonly used in the construction of homes and buildings prior to the 1990s, its airborne fibres are known for causing fatal diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Naturally, the announcement that, by 2018, asbestos would be completely banned from Canada was met with widespread approval considering that asbestos-related diseases take the lives of about 2,000 Canadians every year. We have closely monitored news of the asbestos ban in addition to covering the harmful effects of asbestos in our blog. We’ve regularly pointed out that the impacts of exposure to asbestos are long-lasting.

What this means is that, unfortunately, even with asbestos ultimately becoming outlawed in Canada, it still has the opportunity to wreak havoc. Buildings that already contain the substance present health risks to anyone who enters them. Just last week, CBC News reported that there was an asbestos leak in two labs at the University of Toronto. Evidently, due to the renovations taking place at the university’s Medical Sciences Building, asbestos fibres were released.

According to the report, “the fibres were found in three separate instances in February and March in dust-samples at lab-related rooms on the St. George campus — months after the university began work to remove the substance from seven locations on the 50-year-old building’s third, sixth and seventh floors as part of a $190-million project to improve labs across its three campus.”

Scott Mabury is the vice-president of university operations at U of T. In an interview with CBC News, he revealed some of the culprits for the asbestos leak. One of the individuals working on the renovation project drilled a hole in a wall causing a pile of dust containing asbestos to fall to the floor. In another incident, asbestos-laden dust escaped an area that was insufficiently sealed. And in a third, air pressure forced out dust-containing asbestos from a service shaft.

Both the CBC News report and a report from The Globe and Mail did not indicate that any students or faculty members were directly exposed to the asbestos leak. However, there is an understandable concern.

“The U of T’s Faculty Association questioned the university’s handling of the situation, saying it is ‘extremely concerned that asbestos contamination may have adversely affected our members as well as students and others at the MSB, and that their health and safety continue to be at risk,’” reports Tavia Grant of The Globe and Mail.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are well aware that, in spite of the recent ban, Canadians will continue to suffer the effects of asbestos exposure. As always, it is our sincere hope that we can do our part to minimize as much damage as possible. 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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Nationwide Asbestos Ban To Save Many Lives In The Auto Industry

Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are well aware of our stance on asbestos. We have long been among Canada’s many advocates for a nationwide comprehensive ban of the cancer-causing material and were thrilled to announce news of the ban just before the start of the new year. It should be a secret to no one that asbestos is unquestionably, the number one on-the-job killer in our country, taking thousands of lives a year.

And while Canada ceased the manufacturing of asbestos years ago, the recent ban will finally put a stop to its import by next year. As Bill McLauchlan reports on TireBusiness.com, “The Canadian government will ban the ‘manufacture, use, import and export’ of asbestos-containing products — including brake pads — by 2018.” And while this is clearly good news for health advocates everywhere, McLauchlan points out that the ban will especially benefit members of the auto industry.

Among the various asbestos-laden products that Canada has been importing are brake pads for vehicles. As a result, members of the Canadian automotive industry have regularly been exposed to asbestos, not knowing whether or not the brake pads they’ve been handling contain the deadly substance. McLauchlan cites Rick Jamieson, who is the president and CEO of Guelph, Ontario-based brake pad manufacturer ABS Friction Inc., as an individual who is especially happy about the recently-announced ban.

“This news was most heartening to us,” Jamieson was quoted as saying, “While the ban is long overdue, we are thankful it is finally going to happen. We have twice seen ‘ban asbestos’ private-member bills reach second reading, only to stall for one reason or another.” ABS Friction Inc. has long been campaigning for the banning of asbestos in Canada as it eliminates a major health risk to employees.

“By removing asbestos from braking systems, the new legislation also addresses a health risk to employees of more than 400 vehicle-recycling companies and dismantlers who handle about 1.6 million end-of-life vehicles a year in Canada,” McLauchlan informs. Up until the announcement of the ban, Canada was importing brake pads from countries including the United States, South Korea, China, Chile and Peru.

Jamieson does point out, however, that asbestos is not the only dangerous material that members of the auto industry regularly come into contact with. With the new asbestos ban finally having been passed, he is hopeful that the federal government will take a serious look into banning others substances as well. Chromium, mercury, copper, cadmium, lead and zinc are among them, as they all have toxic properties.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we continue to support Canadians who have been affected by the deadly ramifications of asbestos exposure and we stand beside those who wish to see the government take further action. We’re also committed to helping those who may be at risk of asbestos exposure in their homes. We proudly offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that include onsite assessments, sampling and testing.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Environmental Lawyers See Asbestos Ban As Big Step In Protecting Canadians

Asbestos has killed far too many Canadians. And, unfortunately it will continue to take lives for years to come. So, of course, the recent announcement by the federal government to implement a nationwide comprehensive ban of asbestos by 2018 was welcomed by Canadians nationwide. But as environmental lawyers, Will Amos and David R. Boyd write in the Ottawa Citizen, it’s a ban that should have come a long time ago.

While the pair acknowledges that the recently-announced ban will certainly save lives, they argue that it came decades late. With asbestos being the leading occupational killer in Canada, harming both workers and their families who are exposed to asbestos at home and school, a much more aggressive approach to banning the deadly substance should have been taken in the past.

“The dangers of asbestos have been known for a long, long time,” state Amos and Boyd, “Roman historian Pliny reported that working with asbestos led to difficulty breathing and respiratory illness. A British government report published in 1898 warned that inhaling asbestos dust was killing workers. In 1918, the Prudential Life Insurance Company stated, ‘In the practice of American and Canadian life insurance companies, asbestos workers are generally declined on account of the assumed health-injurious conditions of the industry.’”

With asbestos having been recognized as a harmful material for more than a century, it begs the question: Why was it being produced all these years? You’re not likely to be surprised that the answer is simply: money. Amos and Boyd explain that as the 20th century progressed, the profits from asbestos-laden products steadily rose. Meanwhile, medical evidence was also mounting connecting “dire health consequences” to asbestos exposure.

“The industry responded with a decades-long campaign to distort, manipulate and falsify scientific evidence,” the duo explains, “Industry-funded studies that connected asbestos exposure to cancer were suppressed. Researchers were pressured to change their results, amend their conclusions or avoid discussing asbestos in public.”

Countries like Japan and Australia banned asbestos years go. Amos and Boyd applaud Canada’s decision to jump on board but stress that the proverbial dragging of our nation’s feet to reach this decision will have long-term ramifications. They also insist that Canada further its commitment to protecting its citizens by taking measures to very seriously examine the impact of other dangerous substances on the Canadian public.

“The asbestos debacle has already cost Canada dearly,” they write, “For other dangerous toxic substances and environmental contaminants, we must rigorously regulate to the highest international standards. Asbestos underscores how Canadians deserve world-class standards to protect human and ecosystem health.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we have taken the issue of Canada’s asbestos ban very seriously. We recognize the extreme importance of keeping Canadians safe from this toxic material. If you have any questions about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to ask them. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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CLC President Calls Asbestos Ban A Victory For All Canadians

Happy new year Canada! On behalf of the entire DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. staff, we would like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2017. And thanks to the recent announcement that asbestos will officially be banned in Canada, we can all breathe a little easier – literally. It’s no secret to readers of our blog that we have been big proponents of the ban on the hazardous material that is known for killing upwards of 2,000 Canadians a year.

We join people like Canadian Labour Congress president, Hassan Yussuff in celebrating the federal government’s decision to ban asbestos, which finally came on December 15th. Right before ringing in the new year, Yussuff took to writing a letter about the asbestos ban, declaring it a “victory for all Canadians”. He was and continues to be one of the hardest-working protestors of asbestos in Canada. As he points out in his letter, which was published on TheTelegram.com, the ban is bound to save thousands of lives.

“Banning asbestos will lead to better occupational health and safety protections for workers,” he writes, “Experts estimate that 150,000 Canadians are exposed to asbestos at work, particularly in industries like construction, automobile maintenance, shipbuilding, trade contractors and waste management. Internationally, the World Health Organization reports more than 100,000 asbestos-related deaths per year.”

Yussuff admits to having a very personal attachment to his convictions. Asbestos has taken the lives of many people he has met throughout the years. In the many years he has been working towards a ban, he has been introduced to numerous families of workers who have unknowingly brought home deadly asbestos fibres. This exposed their children and spouses to the hazardous material. Today, many of them battle mesothelioma and other respiratory illnesses.

However, Yussuff himself has also been exposed to asbestos. In his letter, he recalls his days working as a mechanic, exposing himself to asbestos-containing brake pads and clutches. “Because asbestos-related cancers have such a long latency period, I don’t know yet if I’ll be one of the unlucky ones,” he admits, “What I do know is that there are far too many workers who, unlike me, may have been exposed to this killer for years without even knowing it.”

The comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos in Canada was a mandatory measure, as far as Yussuff is concerned. Although Canada stopped mining asbestos years ago, the nation still inexplicably imported products that contained the deadly substance. In fact, there became an increase in the imports of products such as brake pads and construction materials after Canada no longer produced asbestos itself.

Naturally, this only worked to increase asbestos exposure in our country. As a result, deaths from mesothelioma increased 60 percent between 2000 and 2012, Yussuff informs. “A ban on asbestos is about protecting workers, their families, and communities,” he insists, “It is about saving lives, here in Canada and internationally. I commend the federal government for its leadership, and I urge the provinces and territories to work diligently to help implement the ban.”

The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., would also like to commend the federal government for banning asbestos. We know, however, that there is still a lot of work to be done to protect Canadians from the material that already exists here. If you have any questions about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to ask them.

Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Ways To Have A Healthier Home In The New Year

Teenager girl throwing pillow into the air, having funMost New Year’s Resolutions focus on self-improvement in some way. Generally, people endeavour to quit smoking, exercise or change their diets to include healthier food choices as ways to better their health. However, most neglect to make resolutions about improving the air they breathe. It goes without saying that the air we breathe is vital to our health. So why not make 2017 the year you make your home the healthiest it has ever been?

Here are three ways to have a healthier home in the new year:

1. Focus on improving indoor air quality. This newfound focus will require many tasks – but they shouldn’t be hard to do. Regular vacuuming, dusting and mopping will do away with many of the dust particles that inhibit our air from being at its purest. Buying some houseplants to improve the oxygen content of the air is also advisable. As well, making sure to take your shoes off before entering your home will prevent excess dirt and grime to come in from outside.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we specialize in Air Quality Services. We employ a number of trained individuals who all have strong understandings of the indoor environment. They maximize their inspection processes in order to target all areas of concern in your home or office. The air you breathe in your home can cause health and wellness issues that you can avoid through thorough inspections.

2. Test for asbestos. Our blog has been closely covering our nation’s campaign for a complete ban of asbestos for many months now. Last week, we proudly reported about the federal government’s plan to completely rid Canada of asbestos by 2018. While we haven’t exported asbestos in quite some time, we were still importing it through such products as brake pads. Known for causing lung cancer, mesothelioma and other deadly respiratory diseases, asbestos is definitely a material you do not want in your home.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that involved onsite assessments as well as sampling and analysis of the materials collected. Our team will be able to locate asbestos if it is contained within such areas as your furnace, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics, cinder block walls, flooring and ceilings.

3. Limit the moisture in your home. When you shower – especially when you take those long hot showers during the winter – it’s important that you run your exhaust fan. When you’re cooking in the kitchen, running your exhaust fan is just as important. Limiting moisture in your home will help to prevent the growth of mould. When mould spores are airborne, they can present many health hazards to our respiratory systems. Asthmatics are especially aware of this.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we off Moisture Monitoring Services that evaluate buildings for moisture sources such as building envelop failures, leakage issues and occupant-based moisture sources that could be the cause of mould development. We also offer Mould Assessment Services that include inspections involving analytical sampling, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.

Let’s work together on making 2017 your healthiest year yet. For more information on any and all of the above mentioned services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Happy New Year!

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Canada Finally Follows Through On Comprehensive Asbestos Ban!

Large yellow skip bin filled with building waste showing No Asbestos stickerAt long last, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has come through on his promise. Since his announcement to move forward on a comprehensive ban of asbestos in Canada, this past May, many Canadians have been anxiously awaiting official word of its implementation. Readers of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog are well aware of the attention we have been paying this matter. And now, we’re so very happy to pass along the good news about what we’ve all been waiting for.

As reported by several news sources including Julie Ireton of CBC News, the federal government has made official its plans to completely ban asbestos from Canada by 2018. The ban involves a change of the rules and regulations surrounding the disease-causing material. The changes involve revisions of national building codes to prohibit the use of asbestos in new construction and renovation projects throughout Canada. As well, there will be new actions to ban the import of asbestos-containing products such as brake pads and construction materials.

For far too long, asbestos has been the culprit behind the deaths of 2,000 Canadians a year. Used predominantly as an insulator in the construction of homes and buildings, asbestos is no longer welcome in any capacity in our country. The announcement of the ban came just last week Thursday as Science Minister Kirsty Duncan conducted a news conference at the Ottawa Hospital’s General campus.

“Asbestos, a known carcinogen, has been condemned by the World Health Organization and is banned in some 50 countries around the world,” Ireton highlights, “With this announcement, Canada is committing to its own comprehensive ban — which is supposed to be fulfilled by 2018 — of a product that many Canadians believe was outlawed years ago.”

Hassan Yussuff, who is the president of the Canadian Labour Congress, has been particularly adamant about a comprehensive ban of asbestos in Canada for quite some time. With the CLC, he has tirelessly campaigned to have the hazardous substance outlawed. Understandably, Yussuff was thrilled to hear the news of the official ban, stating in Times Colonist that it represented an important win for all Canadians.

“We can all breathe more easily after last week’s announcement that the federal government is finally banning asbestos,” he writes, “It is a move that will, without question, save lives for generations to come, and make workplaces and public spaces safer for all Canadians…Asbestos is the leading cause of workplace-related death in this country. More than 2,000 Canadians die every year from asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma, and because it can take 20 to 50 years for cancer to develop after exposure, that number will initially continue to rise.”

It is our sincere hope, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., that Canada’s comprehensive ban will result in a significant decrease of asbestos-related diseases and deaths in our country that will be noticeable in the not-too-distant future. The immediate benefits, however, will be hard to notice considering that it can take decades for asbestos-related diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer to surface.

This means that sadly, Canadians will continue to die due to asbestos exposure long after the ban takes full effect. It is our hope, however, that we can do our part to minimize as much damage as possible. It’s the reason we continue to proudly offer our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca. Happy holidays!

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Long Awaited Nationwide Ban Of Asbestos Expected This Week

Danger Asbestos Removal Sign posted on school window.Canadians have been patiently (or perhaps impatiently) waiting for a comprehensive ban of asbestos every since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government was moving towards one this past May. As has been covered extensively by the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog, no official announcement of a ban has been made yet. However, as CBC News reports, one is expected this week.

According to Julie Ireton, the federal government finally plans to announce a comprehensive ban on asbestos in Canada. “The country currently allows imports of construction products and automotive parts that contain the toxic fibre, even though Canada no longer exports the material,” she writes, “Asbestos is known to cause deadly cancers and lung diseases, and has already been banned in Europe, Australia and Japan. The World Health Organization recommends replacing asbestos with safer substitutes.”

Organizations such as the Canadian Labour Congress have been front and centre in the call for the nationwide ban of the hazardous substance. Formerly used in the construction of homes, office buildings and schools, primarily for the purposes of insulation, asbestos is known for having its airborne fibres cause lung cancer and other deadly diseases such as mesothelioma. All in all, it’s responsible for the deaths of about 2,000 Canadians per year.

And even though the production of asbestos came to a halt in Canada years ago, the nation has continued to import products, such as brake pads, that contain asbestos. As Ireton points out, asbestos, when undisturbed, isn’t particularly dangerous. However, once fibres are disturbed, they can become airborne. This causes major complications for the respiratory systems of anyone who inhales the fibres.

Such instances have occurred far too often in Canadian workplaces. “From time to time contractors, electricians, plumbers, custodians, firefighters and cable installers unknowingly disrupt pipes, walls, ceilings and other materials that contain the toxic fibre,” Ireton explains, “Public Services and Procurement Canada announced in April that it planned to ban the use of asbestos in that department’s construction projects.”

She goes on to report that “the department has also developed an inventory of its buildings that contain asbestos, and several other departments are expected to follow that lead.” Those who have been keeping up with the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog know all too well the deadly ramifications endured by far too many Canadians at the hands of inhaled asbestos fibres. And while the call for a comprehensive ban is expected this week, it still can’t come soon enough.

To be honest, we still can’t figure out what the hold-up is. Ireton’s CBC News report was published this past Friday. As of this writing, the ban has not yet been announced. You can expect for us to report on the announcement once it is made. Of course, we’re also continuing to do our part to help those who may have asbestos present in their homes and workplaces.

Our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services include a number of asbestos testing procedures such as an onsite assessment and sampling and analysis of materials collected from various parts of your home or office. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Canadian Imports Of Asbestos Have Doubled Since Mining Ban

Caution asbestos signCanada recognizes that asbestos is a killer. And not just any killer, mind you – it has been statistically proven that asbestos is Canada’s number one workplace killer and a known cause of mesothelioma. It takes the lives of over 2,000 Canadians each and every year. So, as a result, the nation has rightfully banned its production. But, we continue to import it at alarmingly growing rates. How does that make any sense?

As Doug Schimdt reports in the Windsor Star this past Monday, “asbestos imports nearly doubled in value between 2011 and 2015, to $8.2 million last year. Meanwhile, the numbers and cases of deaths attributed to mesothelioma — an aggressive form of cancer caused primarily by workplace asbestos exposure — has been on the rise, according to figures released this year by Statistics Canada.”

Evidently, the mining ban that was put in place five years ago has not been enough to reduce the health hazards that asbestos brings upon our population. Banning the production of asbestos in Canada, but continuing to import it, is no different than instilling a household rule that no family member is allowed to smoke – but guests are allowed to whenever they come over. How does that improve anyone’s health?

Well, the answer is simple: it doesn’t. And as Jo-Anne MacMillan pointed out at a news conference in Windsor, Ontario on Monday, it makes no sense to import a “horrific material” that is guilty of killing people. As Schmidt explains, MacMillan has lost three family members to asbestos-caused mesothelioma, including her brother Tom Dunn, who was only 35 years-old when he passed away in 1981.

Sadly, her other brother Paul and sister Rose-Marie, would suffer the same fates in 2005. They were 58 and 70 years of age respectfully. In May of this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made what appeared to be a promise to ban asbestos from Canada completely. We have been covering this incredibly important topic in many of our blogs ever since. Still, we await word on this comprehensive nationwide ban.

If you’re wondering why Canada would even think of importing such a deadly substance, Windsor & District Labour Council president, Brian Hogan can shed some light on the reason. “It’s cheaper,” he states simply in Schmidt’s article, noting that there are safer alternative products that are made in Canada. The asbestos-laden products that are still imported include brake pads, pipes, pipe fittings, tiles, paper products and even clothing and footwear.

Dr. Deborah Hellyer, who is a Windsor-based occupational health physician and lung disease specialist, remarks that asbestos is such a potent killer because of its presence in so many of Canada’s workplaces. Used in the construction of hospitals, libraries, factories and schools, workers in such places have been regularly coming into contact with asbestos for years. “Especially when disturbed — for example when it’s removed or cut — even minute amounts, once inhaled, can lead to potentially fatal disease years or even decades later,” she tells Schmidt.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we completely agree that asbestos should be completely banned in Canada. And because the hazardous material causes deadly diseases, we believe in testing for asbestos in homes and workplaces. Contact us to learn more about our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services which include several asbestos testing procedures. To learn more, give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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CLC Continues To Campaign For Nationwide Asbestos Ban

target asbestos concept illustration design over a white backgroundThe Canadian Labour Congress has made it no secret that they are vehemently opposed to the use, production, import or export of asbestos in Canada. They have long called for a comprehensive ban of the deadly substance, labelling it the most deadly cause of work-related death in Canada. Taking over 2,000 Canadian lives a year, asbestos is a substance that can no longer be tolerated as a viable commodity in our country.

The CLC’s campaign for a nationwide ban of asbestos has picked up steam ever since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared that the federal government was moving towards a ban this past spring. To date, there has still been no official word on an official date when Canadians can safely say that they have been freed from the dangers of asbestos forever. As a result, the CLC continues to champion their cause. And it has received a lot of support.

As reported by CTV News last week, many Canadians are coming out with their often-tragic stories about being affected by asbestos exposure. Donnie Taylor, a retired shipbuilder, is one such Canadian. At a recent press conference in Halifax, Taylor shared his experiences with working in asbestos for 32 years, not knowing he was being exposed to health hazards throughout his work tenure.

“Every ship before the Second World War, was all asbestos, that was the miracle material,” he recalled, “Between new construction and repair work, you were in it every day, every day, there was no getting away from it.” Medardo Azocar is another Canadian who has suffered because of asbestos exposure. Immigrating from Chile to Edmonton in 1975, Azocar worked in a machine shop where we was exposed to asbestos for years.

As reported by Ameya Charnalia for Metro News, Azocar’s daughter Sandra was recently featured in a new CLC video calling for Canada’s official nationwide ban of asbestos. “My father was placed in a concentration camp for being in a union after the 1973 military coup in Chile,” she is quoted as saying, “You come from that and you try and look for a safer place to live in, and yet 20 years later – or however long it was – you get diagnosed with something that could’ve been prevented.”

According to the CLC, a comprehensive ban of asbestos is absolutely necessary because, for some reason, Canada continues to import such products as brake pads for automobiles, which still contain asbestos. Canada has stopped exporting the material, but for so many people who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, this isn’t good enough. Azocar is insistent that asbestos be “actually banned, from either import or export.”

Hassan Yussuff, is the president of the CLC. He is adamant that without a nationwide ban of asbestos, Canadians will continue to suffer the unnecessary consequences. “For every day we delay bringing in a comprehensive ban, there are so many workers who are exposed to asbestos-made products in our country, and we know that if they are exposed it to it without proper protection, it’s likely to do harm to their health,” Charnalia quotes him as saying.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are just as adamant that asbestos needs to be completely banned in Canada. Because we are well aware that the material causes life-threatening illnesses, we believe that testing for asbestos is absolutely necessary. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services. They include a number of asbestos testing procedures such as an onsite assessment and sampling and analysis of materials collected from various parts of your home or office.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Scary Statistics About Asbestos In Canada

asbestos, red stamp on a grunge paper textureFor the past several months, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has kept a close eye on the asbestos situation in Canada. And by “situation”, we’re referring to the fact that, in May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government was “moving forward on a ban” of the deadly material. To date, there has been no confirmation as to when the nationwide ban on asbestos will take place.

We, along with the rest of Canada, continue to wonder exactly what is taking so long. As Tavia Grant reported in The Globe and Mail yesterday, the government is still “examining” a ban, but is providing few details as to why it hasn’t yet been implemented. Gabriel Miller is the director of public issues at the Canadian Cancer Society. “Our position, and the evidence, is as clear as it can be: that asbestos is a carcinogen that is a major cause of cancer, including lung cancers, that kill many Canadians,” he is quoted as saying.

Asbestos is a killer. The statistics make it clear. Grant, in fact, provides several scary ones. Here are four:

1. It is estimated that there are 2,331 newly diagnosed cancers caused by asbestos exposure in Canada each year. This stat, based on 2011 cases studied by the Institute for Work and Health, underlines the fact that far too many Canadians have been exposed to asbestos fibres while on the job. The majority (90 percent) of lung cancer and mesothelioma cases brought on by asbestos exposure impact men.

2. More than a third of workplace-related deaths in Canada are caused by mesothelioma. This startling statistic comes courtesy of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Over the past decade, reports Grant, 34.5 percent of all fatality claims filed involve the asbestos-induced cancer. Between the years 2006 and 2015, mesothelioma became “the most common occupational disease” in our country.

3. Inexplicably, Canada continues to import millions of dollars worth of asbestos every year. According to Statistics Canada, in the first eight months of 2016, our nation imported a whopping $4.3 million in imports of asbestos and asbestos-containing products. Meanwhile, the Institute for Work and Health notes that asbestos-related cancers cost Canadians an estimated $1.7 billion per year to fight.

4. There are 716 federal buildings with known presences of asbestos. There are 2,186 properties listed in Public Services and Procurement Canada’s new national asbestos inventory. This statistic shows that approximately one-third of them are unsafe for Canadians to work in. It’s no wonder that mesothelioma cases are dramatically increasing each year. According to Statscan, there were 467 deaths related to the disease in 2012 – a 60 percent increase from 2000.

“This year and every year, 150,000 Canadian workers will be exposed to asbestos, and thousands will be diagnosed with asbestos-related cancers in years to come,” vented Howard Elliot in The Hamilton Spectator yesterday, “We don’t need more study and review. We need national leadership to ban asbestos. Period.” We second that, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd.

We are adamant that even one more Canadian to suffer a life-threatening illness because of asbestos exposure is one too many. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services. They include a number of asbestos testing procedures such as an onsite assessment and sampling and analysis of materials collected from various parts of your home or office.

Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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