Wasn’t Asbestos Banned in Canada?

Wasn’t Asbestos Banned in Canada?

Asbestos kills as many as 2,000 people every year in Canada.

The deadly material is in tens of thousands homes and buildings across the country. In fact, the carcinogenic fibre has been part of the fabric of Canadian life for at least 130 years.

Many think asbestos is already banned in Canada. But a historic announcement by the federal government didn’t officially ban the substance until 2018, nationwide.

Related: Full asbestos ban

When is Asbestos Dangerous?

The most common way for asbestos fibres to enter the body is through breathing. In fact, asbestos containing material is not generally considered to be harmful unless it is releasing dust or fibres into the air where they can be inhaled or ingested. Many of the fibres will become trapped in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat where they can then be removed, but some may pass deep into the lungs, or, if swallowed, into the digestive tract. Once they are trapped in the body, the fibres can cause health problems.

Asbestos is most hazardous when it is friable. The term “friable” means that the asbestos is easily crumbled by hand, releasing fibres into the air. Sprayed on asbestos insulation is highly friable. Asbestos floor tile is not.

Asbestos-containing ceiling tiles, floor tiles, undamaged laboratory cabinet tops, shingles, fire doors, siding shingles, etc. will not release asbestos fibers unless they are disturbed or damaged in some way. If an asbestos ceiling tile is drilled or broken, for example, it may release fibres into the air. If it is left alone and not disturbed, it will not.

Damage and deterioration will increase the friability of asbestos-containing materials. Water damage, continual vibration, aging, and physical impact such as drilling, grinding, buffing, cutting, sawing, or striking can break the materials down making fiber release more likely.

Health Effects

Because it is so hard to destroy asbestos fibres, the body cannot break them down or remove them once they are lodged in lung or body tissues. They remain in place where they can cause disease.

There are three primary diseases associated with asbestos exposure:

  • Asbestosis
  • Lung Cancer
  • Mesothelioma

We have a team of Industry Experts that are Certified Abatement Workers and Abatement Supervisors meeting the criteria set out by the curriculum Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU).

First Response has the permits and trucks to attend your site and remove the asbestos waste back to our Ministry of the Environment Approved Site.  We offer a per bag rate or you can attend our site and dispose of it without the hassle of appointments at a distant landfill.