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Ottawa Shifts Stance on the Dangers of Asbestos


There’s a good chance that if you took high school chemistry classes and used a bunsen burner to perform experiments, you’ve used asbestos as a heat shield to protect the flasks. Another common source of asbestos are old buildings that haven’t been retrofitted with less damaging insulation.

Despite the well-known dangers of asbestos, the Canadian government has had a seemingly lackadaisical view when it comes to communicating the dangers of this heat-resistant fiber. In fact, one of the biggest sources of asbestos in the world used to be the mine located in Asbestos, Quebec.

After promising to commit millions to reopen the Jeffrey asbestos mine, politicians in Quebec changed course and decided to invest in the economic diversification of the area, rather than reopen the site that sources one of the most dangerous airborne particles on Earth.

Dangers of Asbestos

Asbestos was lauded for its ability to withstand heat and eventually vilified for the diseases that asbestos exposure causes. Although the material can be completely safe if sealed off from the surrounding environment, any tiny asbestos fibers can start damaging the lungs.

Asbestosis (a medical condition describing the scarring of lungs due to asbestos) can cause significant problems with normal breathing, making it nearly impossible for those with an advanced condition.

In addition to asbestosis, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, in particular for those who also smoke cigarettes. However, the deadliest disease linked to asbestosis is mesothelioma, a rare cancer that destroys the lining of the abdominal cavity and chest.

Exposure to asbestos can occur in a variety of ways. Ripping apart roofs and floor tiles, sanding plaster, drilling through buildings and agitating or removing insulation from pipes and tanks can free asbestos particles, causing you to breathe the deadly fibers into your lungs.

Canada Catches Up to the Rest of the World

Despite the fact that the majority of the developed world considered asbestos to be a serious danger worthy of elimination, the Canadian government has only recently changed its mind about this terrible substance.

The Canadian government has recently fallen in line to agree with the correct assertion that any asbestos whatsoever is bad for human lungs.

Incredibly, since 1996, nearly 5,000 Canadian workers passed away due to asbestos-related causes. The admission by the Canadian government that asbestos is worse than previously thought not only aligns Canada with the rest of the world, but may prevent thousands of needless deaths in the upcoming decades.

Worried About Asbestos in Your Home?

At Assurance Environmental Inspection Services, we have helped countless homeowners accurately identify whether they have asbestos, which in turn leads to asbestos removal recommendations.

Our certified asbestos specialists will use state-of-the-art technology to properly detect and identify presumed asbestos containing material in your home, so you can confidently renovate and/or resell your home.  Request a quote, and gain peace of mind (and a healthier home).

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