What do you do if there’s asbestos in your building?

Asbestos is the leading cause of occupational deaths in Canada over the last two decades. More than two-thousand people per year in Canada are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer – cancer that develops in the lungs due to Asbestos. That is not all. Canada is among the countries with the highest rate of mesothelioma cancer and countless individuals have suffered directly and indirectly due to the deadly asbestos. These stats highlight the need to take urgent action against asbestos, not only on a national scale by governments but on a much smaller scale by individuals.

You don’t want your loved ones to be at the receiving end of the harmful effects of asbestos, do you?

Following is a complete guide of asbestos, one that will educate you as well as equip you with the relevant knowledge that will enable you to take relevant action to safeguard yourself and your loved ones from asbestos.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos refers to six toxic, microscopic, naturally occurring silicate minerals that are resistant to heat, electricity, and fire.  Due to these very properties, it was widely used in several commercial sectors.  Textile, cement, and especially the construction industry were the prominent users of asbestos which made matters worse because people were directly exposed to this hazardous mineral. Although it has been banned in Canada now but it continues to adversely affect people.

Why is it dangerous?

Asbestos due to their microscopic size and curly shape easily become airborne. When inhaled, they negatively impact the respiratory system especially the lungs. The consequences of asbestos are evident not in the short-term but in the long-term. The tiny minerals in asbestos when inhaled cling to the lungs and become firmly lodged. They create scar tissue and in turn cause lung cancer, asbestosis which is a respiratory condition, and mesothelioma which is a cancer that forms in the mesothelium membrane that protects essential organs inside the abdomen as well as chest.

Asbestos is also dangerous because it’s present in a range of material that is all around us and yet we cannot detect it. Odds are that it’s in your heating as well as insulation system, building floors and roofs.

What precautions need to be taken?

Take it as a given that any building or apartment that you work or reside contains asbestos if it was built prior to 2000. This will allow you to plan ahead.

If you are planning to disturb materials in your home or workplace that you might think contain asbestos then think twice before acting. Repairing and maintenance tasks that involve drilling, hammering, sawing, cutting, breaking, and even simply moving materials that contain asbestos can expose you to danger and in turn prove hazardous. Hence, it is essential that you seek professional help to do maintenance tasks for you. Do not dislodge or clean up any material yourself that you think contains asbestos. Instead report the presence of asbestos immediately to the relative authorities in your neighborhood.

If you yourself are a fireman, electrician, construction worker, or asbestos abatement specialist than you must at all times wear protective clothing as well as respirator while working. Minimize the risk of aggravating the situation by taking the necessary measures to ensure that asbestos doesn’t spread out. Clean yourself and the equipment carefully after working in an asbestos affected area and never consume food or water anywhere near asbestos.

The bottom line is that you need to take urgent action right now and ensure asbestos abatement at your workplace and home. Owemanco’s commercial building experts, recommends that you hire asbestos abatement specialists to minimize your own exposure to asbestos and eradicate asbestos completely once and for all. The sooner you do it the better it will be for you and your family members. Life is precious and you must not risk it.