Asbestos was recently found in the Canada Revenue Agency’s Ottawa Technology Centre at 875 Heron Road in Ottawa. The CBC reports that Denis Lapointe, an electrician who worked there for 16 years, only recently found out about the asbestos despite evidence he’s discovered that shows it’s been there for years. He’s concerned not only for his own health but for the health of people who were present when he was working, “using air hoses and whatnot and blowing it to other people,” as well as those who are working there now.
This isn’t the only case. Electronics technician Hugh Graham has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease after long-term exposure while working on Parliament Hill. So why are we finding asbestos in these buildings? This is due to both old building practices and a lack of reporting of asbestos in those buildings.
As CBC explains, until the 1990’s materials containing asbestos were often used in the construction of buildings. Ductwork, concrete, insulation, ceiling and floor materials may contain asbestos. It’s not just possible but likely for federal buildings to contain the problematic material, according to Denis St. Jean, the national health and safety officer for the Public Service Alliance of Canada. He says it’s only a problem when “the asbestos is distributed.”
Of course, workers need to know what they are dealing with in order to reduce the danger to themselves and others. Yet, while it’s known that these buildings may have asbestos, Saskatchewan is the only province with a public registry for buildings with asbestos. Knowledge of the presence of asbestos is key to maintaining safety. Tradespeople who work in these government buildings who are saying that they were exposed to asbestos without their knowledge (despite health and safety laws) are demanding a public registry for buildings containing asbestos.
Everyone deserves to be safe in public and private buildings alike.
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If you suspect that you house might have asbestos, you’re going to need professional help. Dealing with asbestos needs to be done properly, and there is no way to cut corners.
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).