Asbestos was once a commonly used material in Canada, but that isn’t the case anymore.
Before we knew of the health risks associated with asbestos, it was widely used to insulate, fireproof, and strengthen products. Starting in 1979, it was manufactured less frequently, and by 1990, asbestos was rarely used in homes. Only in 2018 was an asbestos ban implemented in Canada, under legislation called “Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations”.
But Canada has a long history with asbestos, which explains its widespread usage throughout the 1900s. Even today’s asbestos regulations are criticized for still allowing some exemptions, which permit military and nuclear facilities to use the product.
Why was asbestos banned in Canada?
Asbestos materials became increasingly popular around the time of the Industrial Revolution. Miners who worked with asbestos often suffered lung diseases that manifested years later. Over time, this caught public attention.
It wasn’t until the early 1900s that medical communities began publishing research about the harmful effects of this material. Despite this, it was years before asbestos was no longer used in the construction of new homes and products.
If we avoid disturbing asbestos, it can be kept in homes that already have it. The danger is when it is airborne and inhaled. The material is only safe if it’s contained, sealed away, and in optimal condition. As long as the material is not disturbed or exposed to open air, it might be safe to keep inside your home. But in the event of a fire or flood, the toxic fibers can become airborne.
If you suspect that there are asbestos materials in your home, call a qualified asbestos removal specialist. They will be able to determine if you are at risk of breathing in asbestos fibers. Removing this material requires specialised training and certifications.
What health risks does asbestos cause?
If you breathe in asbestos fibers, the dust can damage your lungs. Exposure to materials that contain asbestos may cause diseases or cancer that can be life-threatening. These include:
Lung cancer: This disease, which develops in the lungs, causes the growth of nodules. It can also spread to other organs. Smoking increases the fatality of asbestos-related lung cancer.
Mesothelioma: Unlike lung cancer, mesothelioma often grows in the lining of the lung. This disease is primarily caused by asbestos exposure rather than other factors.
Asbestosis: Symptoms of this disease include coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Asbestos fibers cause stiffness of the lungs and scar the tissue, which restricts one’s breathing capabilities.
The longer and more frequently that one is exposed to asbestos, the greater risk they have of developing health problems. Asbestos-related diseases are all incredibly serious and oftentimes fatal. Despite the harm that asbestos poses to human health, it’s still mined and manufactured around the world.
After the attack on the World Trade Center, thousands of residents, firefighters, and workers were exposed to asbestos fibers that were released into the air when the buildings collapsed. Hundreds were later diagnosed with asbestosis.
Symptoms of these diseases do not manifest until many years have passed. This makes the material even more dangerous since it’s difficult to detect when the health hazards can go unnoticed for so long.
Where are asbestos products used?
You’ll commonly find this material in old roofing compounds or attic insulation. The widespread popularity of this material was due to its versatile applications, from floor tiles to car parts. It’s even used in decorative ceilings.
To this day, many countries still produce and use asbestos as a building material due to its fire-resistance and heat-proofing properties.
What should you do if you find asbestos containing materials in your home?
First, it’s important to avoid disturbing asbestos materials.
Next, call your Winnipeg asbestos removal experts ; qualified asbestos removal specialists can safely remove any materials that contain asbestos from your home. Whenever you’re planning to renovate your home, contact an asbestos specialist first to make sure you do so safely. This is especially important for older homes (built before 1990), in which asbestos materials were commonly used.
This is not the kind of job to take on yourself, as it can harm you and your family. Give us a call today and leave asbestos removal to the trained professionals at Asbestos Pros.