Renovating? Be Mindful of Asbestos and Mold

Renovating? Be Mindful of Asbestos and Mold
Spring is here and undoubtedly, plans for home renovations are beginning. Some of the most popular renovation projects are interior painting projects, kitchen remodeling, bathroom renovation, flooring replacement and window replacement.
What may seem like a great idea to improve your home, however, could create health concerns.
There are two key concerns related to renovating a property.
ASBESTOS
According to CMHC and Health Canada:
“Asbestos poses health risks only when fibers are in the air that people breathe. Asbestos fibers lodge in the lungs, causing scarring that can ultimately lead to severely impaired lung function (asbestosis) and cancers of the lungs or lung cavity.”
Asbestos is a proven health hazard and unfortunately any home built prior to 1984 will likely have asbestos, popular in construction materials because it is a fire retardant. For this reason, asbestos was used extensively in the building process.
According to Asbestos.com:
Homes and apartments built before 1980 often are filled with asbestos, needing only normal wear and tear with age to dislodge the fibers and send them airborne. Asbestos can be found in floor tiles, roofs, furnaces, plumbing, appliances, fireplaces and window caulking, leaving most everyone vulnerable.
Click here to review a detailed diagram of where asbestos can be found in your home.
As the diagram indicates, there are many areas in a home where asbestos can be found. Take a moment and review this asbestos image gallery.
With this in mind, our advice to homeowners is to be careful if they take on a Do It Yourself (DIY) project.
Take 5 and Stay Alive, it could be the most important 5 minutes of your life! Don’t rush into a project that could potentially disturb and release asbestos fibers into the air. Contact Got Mold? for a thorough asbestos survey.
MOLD
Mold is a growing concern and will reduce the air quality in your home and can aggravate and cause respiratory infections, asthma, and other health problems.
Whether you are knocking down drywall, ripping up carpet or flooring, or maybe excavating that old bath tub, you may encounter mold. If you do, it is important that you do not disturb the mold further because you don’t want to spread the spores. You should also take some practical safety measures: rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a mask to reduce the impact of breathing in mold spores.
The next step is to determine the severity of the mold problem. If the mold infestation is greater than 3 square meters, we recommend that you give Got Mold? a call so that we can provide a more thorough assessment.
In conclusion, while renovating and home fix ups may seem like great ideas, it is always important to understand the potential risks caused by asbestos and mold. If you are planning to start a project and are not sure if you will have asbestos or mold concerns, call Got Mold? for an informed risk analysis. It is better to be safe than sorry!

Canadian Asbestos Regulations

Canadian Asbestos Regulations
The problem with asbestos is that it is friable and once air borne can cause significant health harm to anyone that breathes in the microscopic fibres. It is a well known fact that long term exposure to asbestos will cause asbestosis and eventually lead to a cancer referred to as mesothelioma.
The only way to verify the amount of asbestos is by testing the air, both before and after an abatement project. Post abatement is very important because this will verify the success of the work.
In Canada, each provincial government has set standards. Below are the Canadian abestos regulations for provinces and territories.
British Columbia: ≥0.5% (excluding VAI), >0% (for VAI) [B.C. Reg. 296/97 Workers Compensation Act – OHS Regulation (incl. Amendments for Part 6: Substance Specific Requirements in the OH&S Regulation October 2011]
Alberta: ≥1% [Guidelines for the Disposal of Asbestos Waste – Env. Protection Services Alberta Environment August, 1989]
Saskatchewan: ≥1% [The Occupational Health and Safety Reg., as amended by Saskatchewan Reg. 6/97, 35/2003, 112/2005, 67/2007, 91/2007, 109/2008, 18/2009 and 54/2009]
Manitoba: ≥0.1% for Friable Materials, ≥1% for Non-friable Materials [Workplace Safety and Health Act – Workplace Safety and Health Reg. 217/2006, October 31, 2006]
Ontario: ≥0.5% [Occupational Health and Safety Act – Ontario Reg. 278/05]
Quebec: ≥0.1% [Regulation Respecting the Quality of the Work Environment, RRQ, c S-2.1, r 11]
Nova Scotia: ≥1% (current under review – expect Ontario-like definition) [Managing Asbestos in Buildings: Code of Practice Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour; 1% for Friable Waste Materials as per Asbestos Waste Management Regulations – Sec. 84 of the Environment Act – N.S. Reg. 53/95]
New Brunswick: ≥1% [New Brunswick Reg. 92-106 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act]
Prince Edward Island: >1% [Occupational Health and Safety Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988]
Newfoundland and Labrador: >1% [Newfoundland and Labrador Reg. 111/98 – Asbestos Abatement Regulations, 1998 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (O.C. 98-730)]
Northwest Territories: >1% [Guideline for Management of Waste Asbestos – Department of Environment and Natural Resources]
Yukon: ≥1% [Chapter 159 Yukon Occupational Health and Safety Act]
Nunavut: >1% [Guideline: Management of Waste Asbestos – Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Protection Service]
Asbestos in the Home


Further Reading
How Many People Die From Asbestos Each Year?
10 Interesting Facts About Asbestos in the USA [Infographic]
Renovating? Read This Message From Our President!
10 Interesting Historical Facts About Asbestos [Infographic]
ADAO – Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
BanAsbestos.us
The Asbestos Epidemic in America
WHO | Asbestos: elimination of asbestos-related diseases
The Jig Is Up For The Asbestos Industry!
Canada’s Asbestos Industry Could End!
Elliot Lake, Ontario Residents Exposed to Asbestos Dust
Should I Be Concerned About Asbestos?
The Politics of Asbestos: Canada’s Ugly Secret
Quebec Pumps $58 Million into Certain Death
The Asbestos Abatement Process
Why is Asbestos so Scary?
Got Asbestos?
Asbestos Removal and Abatement
Asbestos Is The “Ideal Carcinogen”