Asbestos Abatement in Canada
Last Updated on Friday, 01 March 2013 19:32 Written by Administrator Wednesday, 01 October 2008 20:19
Asbestos is used in many common building materials including sprayed on insulation, fireproofing and soundproofing in literally tens of thousands of buildings & plants across Canada. It is used in schools, offices, warehouses, sports arenas, airport terminals, ships, mixed into asphalt in roads, and many other private and public structures.
Millions of Canadians are endangering their health by breathing asbestos-laden air, unaware of their daily contact. It has been known for over 50 years that asbestos is a carcinogen, a cancer causing agent that creates fibrous changes and scarring in lung tissue. While the latency period for asbestos-induced lung cancer is 15-30 years, most victims die within two years of the first symptom. But lung cancer is not the only hazard associated with asbestos.
If removal is to be performed when users are still present in the building, it is usually necessary to relocate some users temporarily. Typically, the part of the building from which asbestos is being removed has to be sealed off in order to prevent contamination of the other areas. Methods of sealing off an area often include the use of heavy plastic sheeting such as Enviro-Vac shrink-wrap containments which are sealed with duct tape and placed under a negative pressure. Negative pressure is obtained with the use of DOP tested negative air pressure machines which are fitted with HEPA filters. The intent being that the containment area is having clean air pulled through the abatement area while at the same time maintaining a slight negative pressure so as to not allow asbestos fibers into the surrounding environment.
Only a special vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters designed for asbestos abatement can be safely used when cleaning up during and after asbestos removal. Ordinary vacuum cleaners cannot be used as they will discharge the asbestos fibres into the room into even smaller particle sizes increasing the inhalation danger. Examples of proper asbestos removal can be viewed at www.envirovac.com Enviro-Vac Division of Paragon Remediation Group Ltd. with Head Office in Surrey, British Columbia is one of Canada’s largest & oldest, full service, hazardous materials abatement & shrink wrap containment companies in Canada.
Some companies such as Enviro-Vac® use advanced, portable HEPA vacuum loaders with automated baggers as shown here. HEPA Vacuum loaders increase safety, efficiency and production.
Special techniques & procedures are required to remove asbestos safely and asbestos abatement is heavily regulated in Canada. GC’s, Building or Plant owners should call in an asbestos removal expert prior to disturbing any asbestos containing materials. The rules and regulations regarding asbestos abatement may vary in Canada according to several factors that may include factors as to friability or non-friability and what other chemical and/or toxic substances may be present.
Different Types of Asbestos Waste
Last Updated on Friday, 01 March 2013 19:36 Written by Administrator Thursday, 24 March 2011 21:12
In most Canadian Provinces and in particular British Columbia, asbestos must be removed in accordance with Workers Compensation Board regulations and waste asbestos must be transported according to the federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations, and managed according to Provincial Environment Ministries and or many other applicable local government & municipal landfill rules & regulations.
The Hazardous Waste Regulation defines "waste asbestos" as a special waste if the waste contains more than 1% by weight, of asbestos fibres and the waste is either a powder or friable. Friable waste means a waste that when dry, can be easily crumbled or powdered by hand.
LEGAL LIABILITY & ASBESTOS
Asbestos exposure has become the leading cause of workplace death in British Columbia., according to the BC provincial workers'-compensation agency and "Asbestos disease fatality is the leading cause of death due to occupational diseases in virtually every provincial compensation system," said Larry Stoffman, an occupational health expert and a director of Toxic Free Canada.
The OH&S legislation across Canada gives employers and work site owners duties and responsibilities for their own directly hired workers as well as for the workers of other contractors. Although this is accomplished in different ways in each province, the same result follows. Some jurisdictions, such as the Yukon, Nova Scotia and Ontario, expressly define "employer" to mean a person who employs one or more workers or who contracts for the services of one or more workers, to perform work or supply services.
In other provinces and under the federal Labour Code, where the definition of "employer" is less expansive, obligations for contractors exist as a result of general obligations placed on employers for work carried out under their control. For example, British Columbia’s general duty clause for employers states that they must ensure the health and safety of "all workers working for that employer, and ... any other workers present at a workplace at which that employer’s work is being carried out ...".
Enviro-Vac Division of Paragon Remediation Group Ltd., Head Office: Surrey, BC Canada www.envirovac.com
The information provided on the removal, transportation & disposal of asbestos waste, is general in nature, does not apply to any particular factual situation, and is not and should not be taken as a legal opinion or professional advice. You should seek professional advice prior to undertaking any asbestos abatement projects. There are numerous asbestos abatement consultants available for this purpose.