DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd.
Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Experts



Checking For Asbestos Before You Renovate

Danger Asbestos vintage grunge poster, vector illustratorIs a newly-renovated kitchen on your Christmas wish list? If so, you’re not likely to be alone. Families all across Canada enjoy sprucing up the various living areas of their homes. It can almost feel like you live in a new home once a new renovation has been completed. They’re often expensive, of course. And, if not done properly, they can be dangerous too. Wait, what? How can renovations be dangerous?

These days, the words “renovate” and “asbestos” should go hand-in-hand. As in, before you decide to renovate your home, be sure to have it checked for asbestos. “If your home was built before 1990, then you are more likely to have asbestos in your home,” explains HealthLink BC, “It could be in the insulation wrapped around your furnace ducts or pipes, as well as in your floor tiles and other areas.”

So what’s the big deal if asbestos is in my home? Well, this is why “renovate” and “asbestos” have an interesting relationship. You see, if asbestos goes undisturbed, there really isn’t anything to worry about. However, when asbestos fibres get airborne, they are susceptible to getting breathed in and trapped in our lungs. Plain and simple, this is bad news. Asbestosis (a scarring of the lungs), lung cancer and mesothelioma are known health problems caused by asbestos.

Summer Green is the owner of RemovAll Remediation Services in Victoria, British Columbia. She has plenty of experience dealing with the presence of asbestos in homes that are being renovated. As reported by Megan Cole of The Canadian Press via Global News, Green advises that people follow specific guidelines when dealing with asbestos removal. For example, wetting it to avoid the disbursement of airborne fibres may help.

She explains that breathing in asbestos fibres is a lot worse than breathing in fibreglass fibres. “You can go up in an attic and breathe in fibreglass insulation and it can get in your lungs, and it can cause problems, but with fibreglass insulation the fibres are straight fibres,” Green is quoted as saying, “But with an asbestos fibre no matter how small you make it or break it down they are constantly splitting and have a barb on them.”

What precautions can be taken to avoid asbestos-related health problems? Firstly, it will be important to determine whether or not there is asbestos present in the home before you renovate. HealthLink BC advises that your visually check out all hot water pipers and furnace air ducts to see if asbestos or insulation material is either breaking or coming apart. It’s important that it not be disturbed so as to not introduce its fibres into the air.

“If you are renovating an older house, be alert to unexpected sources of asbestos,” continues HealthLink BC, “Get a professional opinion before starting the renovation and hire a professional to conduct the removal. Power-sanding floor tiles, plaster walls or partitions made partly from asbestos can release dangerous quantities of inhalable fibres into the air.” Needless to say, it’s important to take the danger away from the renovating process.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are committed to helping our customers renovate their homes in the safest ways possible. We proudly offer Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services that involve asbestos testing, onsite assessments, sampling and analysis of the materials collected. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment


Revisiting The Dangers Of Asbestos

Asbestos danger warning sign on glass window at old rusty toxic contaminated building.These days, the term “asbestos” is practically a bad word. And perhaps it can be argued that it should be considering how dangerous it is to our health! Today, we should all be well aware of the dangers of asbestos as it relates to our respiratory systems. Breathing in its fibres has been known to cause a number of fatal cancers. At one point, however, asbestos was actually seen as a protector, of sorts.

How was asbestos once used to protect people? As Lee Snodgrass explains on ThisOldHouse.com, asbestos even gets its name from its ability to ward off fires. “The name has its origin in the Greek word for inextinguishable,” he informs, “A highly-effective and inexpensive fire-retardant material and thermal and acoustic insulator, asbestos was used extensively in home construction from the early 1940s through the 1970s.”

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network adds that asbestos was also looked upon as an incredibly useful material thanks to these qualities. “Asbestos has many uses due to its inherent properties,” reports their website, “A strong, durable and flexible material, asbestos acts as an insulator because it does not conduct heat; moreover, it is relatively chemically inert, or unreactive. Due to these properties, asbestos has high commercial value.”

So what makes asbestos so dangerous? By itself, asbestos is practically harmless. You might say that you can relate its dangerousness to that of a sleeping mountain lion or venomous snake. As long as they are not provoked, you should not be in harm’s way. Like these examples from the animal kingdom, asbestos should also not be provoked. “When disturbed, tiny abrasive asbestos fibers are easily inhaled, which damages lung tissue and can cause cancer,” reveals Snodgrass.

So why was asbestos ever used? Again, being seen as a fireproof way to insulate homes, asbestos was once viewed a very valuable material. Snodgrass explains that “in homes built prior to 1975, asbestos is most commonly found as thermal insulation on basement boilers and pipes.” However, it can also be found in a variety of different areas throughout the home. The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network notes that it still has several contemporary uses.

What are the contemporary uses of asbestos? They include insulation around windows, gaskets, furnaces and pipes. It is also used to reinforce building products such as tiles and cement. Asbestos has also been used in fire-resistant products such as drywall and fabrics. As well, it has been known to improve the durability of vehicle brakes, transmissions and clutches. So both your car and your home may contain asbestos!

So how can people avoid its dangers? “The danger comes from asbestos material that has been damaged over time,” reveals Snodgrass, “Asbestos that crumbles easily if handled, or that has been sawed, scraped, or sanded into a powder is likely to release asbestos fibres and create a health hazard. If you suspect a part of your home may contain asbestos, check periodically for tears, abrasions or water damage.”

You may also want to enlist the help of DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Especially if you are planning any renovations of any kind, it is certainly wise to check for the presence of asbestos in your home before doing anything. We offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that test your home for traces of this dangerous material. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.


  1. Mike-Reply
    September 21, 2015 at 1:07 am

    My house was built in 1978 and I need to do some major renovations. I’ve noticed that most of the basement walls are not insulated. Before I start taking walls down I want to make sure that there is no asbestos in the drywall or compound. Do you offer services outside the Edmonton area?


    • Jeff Wright-Reply
      September 22, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Yes it is always the safest option to determine exactly whether there could be asbestos containing materials present. Yes we do have offices around Alberta, so we certain can usually assist with an overall asbestos assessment. Should you require further information please contact me directly on my cell; 780-893-3544 and I would be happy to help. Thank you for your inquiry, Sincerely Jeff Wright.

Leave A Comment

The Importance Of Avoiding Exposure To Asbestos

Danger Asbestos HazardThe word “asbestos” has become well-known for its negative connotations. At one time in our history, it was highly regarded as a valuable material used for insulation in the construction of homes and office buildings. However, today we have become all too-well aware of the hazardous effects that it can have on our health. When asbestos fibres become airborne, they can become trapped in our lungs.

Asbestos is now known as a cancer-causing agent that should be avoided at all costs. As explained by the National Cancer Institute, “when asbestos fibres are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibres can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, which can affect breathing and lead to serious health problems.” Not the least of these health problems is mesothelioma.

This disease, says the NCI, “is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure.” They go on to note that studies also suggest that gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers, as well as throat, kidney, esophagus and gallbladder cancer are all possible ramifications of asbestos exposure. Sadly, there are numerous others symptoms that indicate that you may be affected by asbestos.

According to Asbestos.com, swelling in the neck or face, difficulty swallowing, high blood pressure, crackling sounds when breathing, shortness of breath, hyper tension, weight loss and even finger deformity are all symptoms associated with asbestos exposure. The site points out that sufferers of mesothelioma are at risk of experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms. There is also a risk of asbestosis if exposed to asbestos.

“Lung scarring, or fibrosis, is the direct cause for the coughing and shortness of breath symptoms most commonly associated with asbestosis,” informs Asbestos.com, “As the lungs become scarred and inflamed over time, their ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide decreases, resulting in a reduction of lung function and subsequent fatigue in patients. In the later stages of asbestosis, the amount of stress placed on the lungs and heart from the lack of proper oxygen can lead to serious lung and/or heart failure.”

Firstly, it’s important to determine whether or not your home includes asbestos as its insulation materials. If it was constructed prior to the 1990s, it’s certainly worth looking into. This is especially true if you plan on renovating. Any disturbance of asbestos fibres may cause them to become airborne. Again, you want to avoid breathing in asbestos fibres as much as humanly possible.

Secondly, it’s important to determine if your workplace includes asbestos in its construction. “Workers who are concerned about asbestos exposure in the workplace should discuss the situation with other employees, their employee health and safety representative, and their employers,” advises the NCI. You should also look into moving your work location if any renovations are being done in your building.

Thirdly, it would be wise to conduct an inspection of your home or office. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that test heating duct-work and furnaces, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics and cinder walls, ceilings and flooring for asbestos. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment

Addressing Asbestos Exposure For Child Safety

Group Of Children Playing In ParkIf there is one thing that bonds all parents, it’s that the health and safety of their children are top priorities. Obviously, our children depend on us to keep them safe from harm. And, as parents, all we can do is our very best to protect them. However, we don’t always have the ability to protect them against everything in the world that can cause illness or injury. And, in the case of asbestos, this is especially true.

Many people have been affected by asbestos without even knowing it. And with the respiratory systems of young children being so vulnerable, they are more susceptible to encountering the negative effects of asbestos exposure. As HealthyChildren.org informs us, asbestos “does not pose health risks unless it deteriorates and becomes crumbly, when it can release microscopic asbestos fibres into the air.”

The site notes, however, that this fibre was commonly used for the purposes of insulation and soundproofing in schools between the 1940s and 1970s. Many of these schools, of course, are still standing today. When various changes via renovations take place in schools, a cause for concern about asbestos exposure is more than reasonable. Again, how can parents protect their children from such an occurrence?

“Today, schools are mandated by law to either remove asbestos or otherwise ensure that children are not exposed to it,” HealthChildren.org reports, “However, it is still in some older homes, especially as insulation around pipes, stoves, and furnaces, as well as in walls and ceilings.” Asbestos can also be located in many of our workplaces. As a result, children have been known to be at risk of “secondary exposure” to asbestos.

“In asbestos-heavy work environments, certain activities can expel toxic fibres into the air,” explains Joey Rosenburg on Asbestos.com, “This occurs when asbestos products are cut, sawed, sanded, ground or otherwise disturbed. Aside from the obvious risks of firsthand exposure, suspended asbestos fibres can get distributed through ventilation ducts. They also often penetrate into workers’ clothing.”

Rosenburg notes how important it is for such workers to change out of their contaminated clothes before returning home from work. That way, they can eliminate the possibility of polluting their homes with asbestos fibres which can put their families in harm’s way. Thankfully, he does also note that asbestos cancer in children and young adults is very rare. Only 2 to 5 percent of all cases are found in this age grouping.

However, Rosenburg does reveal that “researchers claim that childhood exposure to asbestos may increase the risk for mesothelioma, but the time between initial asbestos exposure and a diagnosis, known as the latency period, is often lengthy. In one study describing five patients indirectly exposed to asbestos during childhood, the average latency period was 25.2 years, and the average age at diagnosis was 32 years old.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we firmly believe that it is imperative that you check for asbestos in your home. This is especially important if you plan on doing any renovating that may potentially disturb asbestos fibres and make them airborne. Needless to say, the health and safety of our children come first. For more information about our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment

Minimizing Asbestos Health Risks While Renovating

Danger Asbestos RemovalSo, you’re looking to renovate your home. Obviously, that is bound to take a lot of work. Changing the environment you live in can take weeks or even months to complete depending on how much you are looking to change. How many rooms will you be redesigning? Are you putting in new flooring? Will new paint jobs be in order? Renovations, it should go without saying, are huge undertakings!

Do I have to worry about asbestos? This is, however, another extremely important question to ask when you are planning on renovating your home. As Pinchin.com explains, “today, few products contain asbestos, and those that do are regulated and must be properly labelled. However, before the 1970s, many types of home building materials and products used in the home contained asbestos and may be at risk of releasing fibres in to the air.”

That means that if you are renovating an older home, checking for asbestos is mandatory. The last thing you want is to damage your health or the health of your family and friends – not to mention the workers renovating your home – by having them breathe in those fatally dangerous asbestos fibres. Because asbestos was commonly used for insulation prior to the 1990s, it may be contained in your home.

When these fibres are disturbed and become airborne, they can get trapped in your lungs if inhaled. As we’ve blogged about before, this can lead to forms of lung cancer such as mesothelioma as well as asbestosis. Pinchin.com points out that asbestos may be lurking in places other than just your insulation.

So what are the different sources of asbestos that could exist in the home? According to the site, they include, but are not limited to cement roofing, roofing felt, shingles and siding; asphalt and rubber floor tiles, including the backing and adhesives used to install floor tile; steam pipes, furnace ducts, hot water tanks and boilers; soundproofing or decorative material sprayed on walls and ceilings; textured paints; artificial ashes and embers used in gas fireplaces and older ironing board covers, stovetop pads and fireproof gloves.

According to Health Canada, “homeowners should receive expert advice before removing materials that may contain asbestos. If you think your home may contain asbestos, check regularly for signs of wear or damage. However, you can’t always tell just by looking at a material.” In fact, Pinchin.com insists that professionals should be called in to inspect for asbestos before any renovations are made.

“You can’t identify items that may contain asbestos simply by looking at them,” says the website, “The only way to confirm the presence of asbestos is to take a sample of the material and have it tested by an accredited asbestos laboratory. If you suspect asbestos, the safest approach is to treat the material as if it does contain asbestos.”

So how can you minimize asbestos health risks while renovating? According to Health Canada, you should “keep other people and pets away, and seal off the work area; wet the material to reduce dust, making sure it is not in contact with electricity; if possible, do not cut or damage the materials further and do not break them up (and) clean the work area afterwards using a damp cloth, not a vacuum cleaner, and seal the asbestos waste and cloth in a plastic bag.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer top-of-the-line Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. For more information on how you can have professionals inspect your home to confirm the presence of asbestos, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

One Comment

  1. April 28, 2015 at 4:21 am

    It’s good that Health Canada advised on having experts give their word about what to do before removing asbestos from a property. Improper handling will send asbestos fibers to the air, causing very serious health exposure. Asbestos should always be handled by professionals who are trained to manipulate and remove asbestos according to the degree of damage the material has sustained.

Leave A Comment

Understanding Asbestos And How To Avoid It

Asbestos warning signThese days, asbestos is commonly known as a killer. Its extremely harmful effects on our respiratory systems are well documented. It’s hard to believe that just a few short decades ago, asbestos was known as a chief insulator in the construction of our offices and homes. As well, Canada was a well known exporter of the hazardous material. If you live or work in a building that was constructed before the 1990s, you may want to better acquaint yourself with asbestos.

Now, of course, we don’t mean for you to come into contact with asbestos when we say “acquaint” yourself with it. But becoming knowledgeable about this “killer” is an important step in being able to avoid the perils that come with inhaling its airborne fibres. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, there are two main categories of asbestos. And they are often defined by their colours.

Amphibole asbestos refers to “blue or brown asbestos”. And unfortunately, it is a cancer-causing agent.  AsbestosNetwork.com informs us that two of the most common and most dangerous types of asbestos belong to this group. Amosite is described as brown or grey in colour as they contain iron and magnesium. Crocidolite or riebeckite are blue, straight fibers made up of sodium iron magnesium silicate.

Serpentine asbestos refers to “white asbestos”, says the Canadian Cancer Society. And the only type of serpentine asbestos that exists is known as chrysotile asbestos. Thankfully, this material is less harmful than all types of amphibole asbestos, although it is still known to cause cancer. The Canadian Cancer Society reveals that “chrysotile asbestos is currently the most commonly used form of asbestos in the world and is the only kind mined in Canada.”

They go on to note that chrysotile asbestos can still be found in many products that are still being used today. Brake linings, building materials, water and sewer pipes and insulation are among them. In fact, AsbestosNetwork.com reveals that “chrysotile accounts for 90% of asbestos in products”. It is noted by the Canadian Cancer Society, however, that “the use of chrysotile asbestos has been banned in many countries.”

In fact, they report that “as of 2013, over 50 countries have banned the use of all forms of asbestos. Until recently, Canada was one of the few countries that continued to mine chrysotile asbestos, but in 2012 the asbestos mines stopped operating.” It’s also important to highlight the fact that asbestos is now regulated and rarely ever used in new products and materials. So how can we avoid exposure to asbestos if it is found in older products?

It’s all about avoiding a disturbance. In other words, asbestos becomes dangerous when its fibres become airborne. So you’ll want to avoid breaking, hitting or damaging any materials that may contain asbestos. This is especially important when renovating a property. It’s important to know if the construction of your building contains asbestos before hammering into any of its walls. Testing for asbestos should be your first pre-renovation move.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. As part of our asbestos testing services, we will assess your heating ducts, furnaces, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics, cinder walls, ceilings and flooring. For more information on this and all of our indoor air quality services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment

Analyzing The Facts About Asbestosis

Asbestos Alert Indicates Hazmat Warning And DangerIn today’s world, asbestos is commonly associated with lung cancer and other severe respiratory issues – as it should. It’s hard to imagine then that just a few decades ago, asbestos was considered a principal insulation material in the construction of homes, offices and other buildings. Discovering its extremely harmful impacts on our breathing by the time the 1990s rolled around has practically outlawed its use since then. However, the harmful effects remain.

There are, of course, many structures still standing that were built prior to the 90s that still contain asbestos. And when renovations are needed, it’s important to have the asbestos removed. Sadly, this presents a danger to anyone who isn’t protecting themselves from breathing in asbestos fibres. As we explained in our last blog, the worst possible result of doing so is developing a cancer known as mesothelioma. Of course, that isn’t the only health problem associated with asbestos.

We also mentioned a chronic lung disease known as asbestosis. As you can tell by its name, it is directly attributed to the inhalation of asbestos fibres. And very sadly, it is incurable. Perhaps, even scarier is the fact that, according to Asbestos.com, the disease may not even be diagnosed until decades after exposure occurs. The site goes on to clearly explain how asbestosis is caused and what the long-term effects may be.

“Asbestosis is linked to the straight, thin amphibole fibers that are found in five of the six known types of asbestos,” reports Asbestos.com, “Exposure occurs when someone breathes in the dangerous fibers. Extended exposure can lead to an accumulation of the fibers in lung tissues, setting the stage for long-term fibrosis (scarring). Over time, lung tissues thicken, causing pain and restricting breathing.”

So if asbestosis can be difficult to diagnose, how can one tell if he or she may be suffering from it? Canoe.ca reveals that because asbestosis causes our lungs to lose their elasticity, it makes it harder for them to fill with oxygen. Obviously, this impacts breathing. The first symptom, therefore, is a shortness of breath, especially when exercising. The more the disease progresses, the harder breathing will be for the sufferer.

Chest pain and coughing practically become the norm. Canoe.ca goes on to reveal a less obvious and even strange symptom associated with asbestosis. “You may display what is known as clubbing of the fingertips (they thicken and enlarge), or develop a blue colour under your nails and a bluish tinge around your mouth,” reports the website. As bad as this all sounds though, hope should not necessarily be lost. There is somewhat of a silver lining when it comes to asbestosis.

“The prognosis is often positive,” assures Canoe.ca, “Because asbestosis is not a form of lung cancer or mesothelioma, people can live many years, even decades, with the disease. However, because the condition gets worse over time, patients will require increased treatment as they age.” With that said, it still goes without saying that contracting the disease should be avoided at all costs. And, of course, this involves avoiding exposure to asbestos.

At DF Technical & Consulting Ltd., there is nothing more important to us than ensuring the safety of your breathing air. As a result, we offer a number of important air quality services including our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. If you are renovating or looking to buy a new property, it’s important we check for asbestos. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Leave A Comment

Uncovering The Truth About Mesothelioma

Depositphotos_62809183_xsConsidering just how dangerous asbestos is to our health, it’s bewildering to think that the material was used in the construction of buildings up until the 1980s. It was commonly used for insulation and often came in the form of blankets or paper tape. Used to cover pipes, boilers and furnace ducts among other elements of a home, asbestos is now a target of eradication in the renovation of buildings that were built pre-90s.

And this is because the inhalation of asbestos fibres is deadly. There’s no over exaggerating about it either. Exposure to asbestos creates a type of lung cancer that is directly attributed to the material. Known as asbestosis, the disease is brought on by a scarring of the lungs at the hands of asbestos fibres. Sadly, the product’s deadliness doesn’t stop there. Asbestos inhalation is also known to cause mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the abdominal linings and the chest.

This is considered the most dangerous ramification of asbestos inhalation. “Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases,” explains Dr. Howard West on Mesothelioma.com, “Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause and risk factor for mesothelioma…There is currently no known cure for mesothelioma, but treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy can help to improve the typical mesothelioma prognosis.”

Considering that asbestos is no longer used in the construction of buildings in Canada, you could consider it fair to assume that mesothelioma cases aren’t all that prevalent anymore. However, you would be wrong to make such an assumption. Research has shown that diagnoses have increased in recent years. In fact, Asbestos.com reveals that “Canada’s mesothelioma cancer rate is now one of the highest in the world.”

“About 2.1 of 100,000 Canadians are diagnosed every year with the aggressive disease,” reports the website, “For context, consider that in 1984, 153 Canadian men were diagnosed with mesothelioma throughout all the country’s provinces. By 2003, 344 cases were reported among men, and 78 among women. Deaths from mesothelioma totaled 404 in 2008.” And, sadly, it does not appear as if the death total is bound to taper off any time soon.

Former convention centre manager, John Nolan knows this all too well. In an exclusive exposé on the disease, Tavia Grant of The Globe and Mail reveals how quickly-damaging asbestos inhalation can be. Today, Nolan suffers from mesothelioma. And he contracted the disease by doing nothing more than working in his Windor-based Cleary Auditorium and Convention Centre office in the late 1980s.

“His office was located within 25 feet of renovations, where workers in protective suits removed asbestos from the ceiling and walls,” Grant explains, “The room was covered in plastic sheeting — but the ventilation pumped air right from the dusty renovation into his windowless office. (He also recalls asbestos was present in the basement’s pipes.)” Nolan’s tragic story highlights just how important it is to take the issue of asbestos seriously.

It is imperative that your breathing air is considered safe. If you are planning any renovations or are looking to purchase a new property, you should consider it mandatory to check for asbestos. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer top-of-the-line 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.


  1. April 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Howdy! I realize this is sort of off-topic but I had to ask.
    Does building a well-established website such as
    yours require a lot of work? I’m brand new to writing a blog however I do write in my journal on a daily basis.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for new aspiring bloggers.

    • Dennis French-Reply
      April 6, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Hello. Blogging in our case relates to the work we do but can take the form really of any items of interest to start a dialogue. We have a writer for our blog with varied topics of discussion. The building of a website can be time consuming but also makes you think about what you want to say and how you may want to be received so put some thought to it first.

Leave A Comment

Exposing The Dangers Of Asbestos Exposure

Caution asbestos signAt DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., our primary goal is to improve the air quality of all of the homes and places of business that are inhabited by our clients. Good air quality, it should probably go without saying, is of paramount importance when it comes to protecting our health. As far as we’re concerned, any deterrent to the cleanliness of the air we breathe is considered an “enemy” of our company. And we’ve made it our job to eliminate them!

Asbestos just so happens to be one of those enemies. And it can be argued that it’s the worst of them all. Although it was widely used as a source of insulation in the construction of homes, offices and buildings up until the 80s , asbestos is incredibly harmful to our health when released into the air. For those who plan on doing any type of repairs, renovations or other construction that may disturb the original design of an older property, asbestos testing is practically mandatory.

But what is asbestos exactly? “Asbestos is the name given to a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibres that can be separated into thin, durable threads,” describes the National Cancer Institute, “These fibres are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals and do not conduct electricity. For these reasons, asbestos has been used widely in many industries.” So, apparently it can be quite the useful material.

But what makes asbestos so dangerous? “If products containing asbestos are disturbed, the tiny fibres are released into the air,” explains WebMD.com, “When they are breathed in, they can become trapped in the lungs and stay there for many years. Over time these fibres can accumulate and lead to serious health problems.” The fibres, it should be stated, aren’t simply irritants to our respiratory systems. They are cancerous.

The National Cancer Institute explains that asbestos is a known human carcinogen. As a result, it has been known to significantly increase the risk of lung cancer in those who are exposed to it. In fact, a relatively rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma has also been discovered as an unfortunate result of asbestos exposure. This type of cancer affects the thin membranes that line the lungs, chest cavity and abdomen.

While it is considered rare, it’s also the most common form of cancer that is known to be caused by an exposure to asbestos. Sadly, the health risks don’t end there. Asbestos, in fact, has created a disease all on its own. “Asbestosis,” informs WebMD.com, is “an inflammatory condition of lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and eventually scarring of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe.”

The site goes on to report that other lung problems associated with asbestos exposure include “pleural plaques” which are changes in the membranes that surround the lungs, the thickening of the membranes surrounding the lungs and “pleural effusions” which are “abnormal collections of fluid between the lungs and the inside wall of the chest.” Needless to say, asbestos is bad news. Preventing exposure to its fibres is clearly very important.

If you have any plans to make repairs or renovations to your property, DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. would love to test for asbestos before you do so. Asbestos may be found in your furnaces, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics, cinder block walls, ceilings and floors. It’s important we check all of these areas before they are disturbed in any way. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

One Comment

  1. March 26, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Great post about the risk of asbestos exposure. There are still people out there who disregard the dangers of asbestos, and they need all the information they can get in order to convince them to tread with caution. Asbestos is not a laughing matter, and it should only be handled by experts.

Leave A Comment

Eliminating Asbestos Is A Life-Saving Decision

DANGER - ASBESTOSConsidering just how dangerous we’ve all come to know asbestos is, it’s pretty surprising that asbestos materials were so widely used in the construction of homes, offices and buildings up until the early 1980s. Sadly, asbestos exposure has been known to cause death. So, it goes without saying that clearing your home or workplace of any asbestos is of paramount importance. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take this matter very seriously.

We offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services as one of the most important and necessary features of our company. If your property was constructed before the 1990s and you are considering any repairs of renovations to it, it is very highly recommended that you test for asbestos. Our testing procedures involve an onsite assessment, sampling and analysis of the materials that we collect.

In both homes and working environments, there are a number of places that are important for us to check out. They include heating duct-work and furnaces, pipes, electrical wiring, attics and cinder block walls, ceilings and flooring. You see, asbestos was commonly used as insulating material. In many cases, each of the areas mentioned have asbestos materials still present. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for asbestos to be removed from your property.

Tavia Grant of The Globe And Mail couldn’t have put it any clearer. “Asbestos exposure is the single largest on-the-job killer in Canada, accounting for more than a third of total workplace death claims approved last year and nearly a third since 1996,” she writes. Based on new national data obtained by The Globe and Mail, Grant reveals that there were 368 asbestos-related death claims that took place over the past year.

What is staggering about the number is that the death toll actually exceeds the number of fatalities that came as a result of highway accidents, fires and chemical exposures combined! Quite frankly, that is a scary statistic – not one to be taken lightly. And this certainly isn’t a new trend. Grant reports that asbestos exposure has been a leading cause of death in the workplace for about two decades now.

“Since 1996, almost 5,000 approved death claims stem from asbestos exposure, making it by far the top source of workplace death in Canada,” she writes. Perhaps, even scarier than the fact that the use of asbestos in building construction has proven to be so destructive for so long, is the fact that the Canadian government seems to support its use. Grant reveals that an investigation conducted by The Globe And Mail found that the federal government is keeping mum on the dangers of asbestos.

Even low levels of asbestos exposure can lead to severe health concerns. And according to Grant, “Canada’s government does not clearly state that all forms of asbestos are known human carcinogens. (Meanwhile) dozens of other countries including Australia, Britain, Japan and Sweden have banned asbestos.” The reason, very likely, lies in all of the money that the nation made from exporting asbestos.

She reveals that “Canada was one of the world’s largest exporters of asbestos for decades, until 2011, when the last mine in Quebec closed.” At DF Technical & Consulting Ltd., we believe in an asbestos export of another variety. Let’s get it OUT of your property! For any questions about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca. It will literally be a life-saving decision.

Leave A Comment