What is Asbestos?
Asbestos refers to a group of naturally occurring fibrous mineral silicates that has been used as insulation and construction materials in the past. Asbestos is present in homes built between the 1920's to the 1980's, during this time asbestos was quite popular in use as it was fire resistant and was relatively low cost, it can be found in a variety of places such as walls, flooring, paint and electrical.
Asbestos is extremely toxic and the mineral is considered highly hazardous due to the fact that it can cause ailments such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. Lead Stop Specialists provide a variety of professional asbestos services including testing, removal and abatement.
Types of Asbestos
Until it was banned, asbestos was used in more than 2000 building materials. Homes built before 1990 are likely to contain asbestos materials in some way. Asbestos containing building materials, when disturbed, can release asbestos fibres into the air where they can be inhaled.
When found, it’s best to properly and safely remove asbestos. New laws now make it almost impossible to get building permits without proving that you have tested for and properly removed any asbestos found before work starts. We offer a number of asbestos services for your home or business to remove the varying types of asbestos.
Types of asbestos include:
Chrysotile (white asbestos) is the most commonly used form of asbestos. It is found in over 95% of asbestos-containing products.
Amosite (brown asbestos) has been used in sprayed coatings, heat insulation products, and cement products where greater structural strength is required.
Crocidolite (blue asbestos) is now rarely found. Before 1973 it was commonly used in sprayed coatings on structural steelwork for fire protection, heat or noise insulation. It was also used in gasket materials and asbestos cement pipe.
Vermiculite is commonly found in attics and came from Libby Mine in Montana which was later found to possess large quantities of asbestos.
Asbestos Health Risks
Asbestos is a hazardous material. Its fibres are extremely fine and can remain suspended in the air for hours to days. People exposed to asbestos-contaminated air can inhale the fibres and if handled, asbestos may cause serious chronic health problems and even death.
Asbestos services ensure that a property is properly mitigated of harmful asbestos materials, asbestos health risks include:
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease resulting from prolonged exposure to asbestos dust. The fibres gradually cause the lung to become scarred and stiff, making breathing difficult.
Lung Cancer may be caused by asbestos fibres in the lung. Although it is unknown exactly how asbestos causes lung cancer, research has shown that the combination of smoking tobacco and inhaling asbestos fibres greatly increases the risk of lung cancer.
Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer affecting the lining of the lungs or the abdominal cavity. There is a confirmed link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.
Pleural Thickening may develop after heavy asbestos exposure. The lining of the lung (pleura) thickens and swells, causing shortness of breath and discomfort in the chest.
Asbestos Testing is the procedure of testing a home or business for asbestos and asbestos building products. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was used in numerous building products between 1920 to 1990. If your home or commercial property was built at that time, chances are there is asbestos. Asbestos has been directly linked to respiratory ailments and cancer. In Canada, the legislation requires that asbestos testing is performed to ensure the health and safety of occupants.
Lead Stop Specialists tests your home or business for asbestos, we provide on-site assessments and inspect the property for asbestos building products. We will test for asbestos around your property, provide an inventory of asbestos materials and ensure that the home or business is mitigated. Our team is trained and certified to handle dangerous materials and we use a provincially accredited lab who uses state-of-the-art equipment to test for asbestos. We can guide you through the asbestos testing and removal process from initial inspection to Asbestos Abatement.
Identifying and Testing for Asbestos
Asbestos can be difficult to detect and test for, which is why we advise against "DIY" Testing. Due to the health risks associated with the asbestos exposure we recommend that even if asbestos is suspected a person should avoid contact and immediately seek professional help.
If asbestos is present in the home, it can be found in many rooms and in numerous materials. Common items or areas where asbestos is found is in pipe insulation, stucco, drywall joint compound, plaster, vinyl flooring and attic insulation (vermiculite).
After an inspection, if we believe your property has asbestos, our team will take samples from the area or material and send them to a lab for proper testing.
If you think asbestos is in your workplace or home, leave it alone! Contact Lead Stop Specialists if you suspect asbestos in your property. We can educate you on the common areas to find asbestos and where asbestos is most commonly present.