Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral composed of fibrous crystals with fire and heat-resistant properties. Due to its favourable physical qualities, cheapness and availability, asbestos was a widely used material in construction and product manufacturing from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution until the second half of the previous century. High mortality of asbestos workers revealed the darker side of this mineral, and one by one, countries around the world started banning it.
Unfortunately, the ban in Canada was quite limited until 2018, so there are many asbestos-containing materials still around us. Getting professional air quality testing in Toronto can reveal whether this hazardous material is present at your property. Many residential and business buildings in Toronto built before 1990 are at high risk of asbestos contamination, so hiring a Toronto-based asbestos testing company is especially advised to owners of such estates.
How You Can Be Exposed
Not all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) pose a direct threat to health. Asbestos is dangerous if it’s airborne, so having undamaged ACMs is not alarming. However, due to the nature of these materials, encapsulation or removal is still advised. If the ACMs are subjected to abrasion or other types of damage, they release dangerous fibrils.
Asbestos microfibrils are often invisible to the naked eye and very light, so they can become airborne with even the slightest air currents. Difficult to notice, they present a hidden danger, especially in older Toronto buildings. Identifying asbestos problems early is the key to prevent unwanted exposure, and air quality testing is the best way to do it.
Known Health Risks
Once inhaled, the fibrils create microscopic cuts in the lung tissues, leading to inflammation that can become chronic if the exposure was significant. With heavy or/and long-term exposure, asbestos can cause scarring (fibrosis), reduced lung capacity and a variety of other complications:
- Chest pain
- Chronic bronchitis
- Dry, persistent cough
These complications often indicate a deeper problem – asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma are the most common outcomes of long-term asbestos exposure. Another factor that exacerbates this situation is that symptoms start to appear usually after decades, making early detection very challenging. The optimal way to find out whether your home is safe is to hire an experienced asbestos testing specialist in Toronto.
How You Can Reduce Your Risk of Exposure
After learning that the threat of asbestos contamination could exist in any older building, many homeowners wonder how they can reduce the risk of exposure and protect their families. First and foremost, attics with vermiculite insulation are at high risk of asbestos contamination, so it is best to avoid using them for storage or any other purpose.
Before doing renovations, demolitions, or any activity that will disturb the building materials, it is necessary to run asbestos testing in Toronto. Removal must ensue if asbestos is detected in order to keep your family and the construction workers safe.
If you are looking for a trusted professional in Toronto to run a thorough air quality testing of your property, reach out to Inch by Inch Inspections.