There are hundreds of pollutants present in our everyday surroundings, in both indoor and outdoor environments. Some of them can cause severe health issues, which is why they have been classified as designated substances by the Ministry of Labour. Considering that exposure to these substances is very harmful, business owners are required to have a designated substance survey to ensure that their workers’ health and safety aren’t jeopardized. However, workplaces are not the only ones that can benefit from designated substance surveys done by a Toronto-based company. Many older Toronto homes are at risk of contamination due to their age and the materials used for their construction. Getting them tested is the best way to find out whether dangerous materials are lingering around.
What are Designated Substances?
A designated substance is defined as “a chemical, physical or biological agent or a mixture of the agents in where exposure to the substance is toxic to a worker’s health and is therefore regulated, restricted, prohibited, controlled or limited.” According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, these substances include:
- Asbestos – in old insulation, floor and ceiling tiles, etc.
- Arsenic – contaminates drinking water
- Lead – in plumbing solders and old paints
- Mercury – often found in old thermometers and laboratories
- Silica – fine dust from the damaged concrete
- Coke oven emissions
- Benzene – from petroleum products
- Ethylene oxide – emitted during various industrial processes
- Acrylonitrile – emitted during chemical industrial processes
- Isocyanates – widely used for manufacturing fibres, foams (flexible and rigid), coatings, insulation, etc.
- Vinyl-chloride – widely used for manufacturing plastic products
How to Identify Designated Substances
Identifying all of the substances above is very important to take adequate measures and prevent exposure. This process can be challenging for an average homeowner or a business owner, requiring professional knowledge and experience. Getting an evaluation from a certified company is the safest and most accurate way to detect designated substances, and it includes:
- testing and determining whether there is a factual or possible risk of exposure to designated substances
- recommendations for strategies and techniques that will control the exposure
Why Older Homes Should Get DSS
Homes built before the 1990s contain materials that are now considered hazardous, and their decades-long exposure to the elements has deteriorated their initial state. For this reason, renovation projects in older homes carry certain risks, and one of the main ones is exposure to harmful substances. Aside from the health risks, renovating without getting a designated substance survey first presents a legal and financial risk for the homeowner. The Ministry of Labour conducts random checks to ensure this procedure is followed.
Who Is Responsible For Getting a DSS
Homeowners are responsible for determining whether there are any hazardous substances present on their property, and they are required to inform the contractors involved in the renovation project. If the homeowner doesn’t comply with the requirements, he or she is considered liable for any damages caused by the hazardous substances. Instead of risking the health of your family and contractors working on your Toronto home renovation project, reach out to Inch by Inch Inspections and get your designated substances survey.