Considering 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.