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Asbestos

Industrial materials containing asbestos

AIRTESTS offers certified expertise in asbestos fiber research in asbestos-containing materials (ASM), asbestos-containing materials (ASM) and fiber counting services. air suspension; zone conformity, daily tests and final tests. You can consult the website of the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec to know the reasons why it is advisable to carry out the asbestos characterization tests.

Méthodes reconnues pour les tests d'amiante

IRSST Method 244-3 (MLP) - Mineralogical Characterization in Polarizing Microscopy and Color Dispersion As the case may be and in order to extract the fibers, the samples have undergone a slight mechanical grinding. The particles and fibers produced were transferred to slides, covered with a coverslip and bathed in suitable refractive index liquids to observe the color dispersion. The orthoscopic and conoscopic optical properties of the samples are also used if they make it possible to complete the characterization.

IRSST Method 243-1 (MOCP) - Phase Contrast Optical Microscopy Provides a good index of workplace exposure when the predominant type of fiber in the air is asbestos. Sampling is carried out using an extended conductive cassette with a mixed cellulose ester (ECM) membrane. The sampling rate is variable to measure a weighted average exposure value in an industrial setting to measure fiber concentration in low-dust environments such as public buildings.

ELAP Method 198.4 (TEM) - Mineralogical Characterization by Transmission Electron Microscopy

Transmission electron microscope method for the identification and quantification of asbestos in non-friable bulk samples bound by organic materials. Electron microscopy analyzes are performed with the FEI Tecnai Twin TEM and EDAX Genesis System using X-ray energy dispersive analysis (EDXA) and the electron diffraction model (SAED) selection for the recognition of species of asbestos fibers.

Boat likely to contain asbestos in paint or insulation

Characterization of materials that may contain asbestos

AIRTESTS offers certified expertise in asbestos fiber research and counts asbestos fibers suspended in the air.

Buildings: Industrials Commercial

Equipment: Industrial Heavy machineries

Industries: Maritimes Rail Airlines

Sampling, counting and analysis of materials

Suspended in the air on construction sites (with final tests of conformity) Mix of friable materials applied by projection to cover a surface (flocking) Insulators and insulators and thermal barriers. Insulation is an insulating material that covers an installation or equipment to prevent loss of heat

Recognized methods

IRSST 244-3 (MLP) - Determining the composition of minerals by polarizing microscopy and color dispersion IRSST 243-1 (MOCP) - Phase contrast optical microscopy, which provides a good index of workplace exposure when asbestos is predominant ELAP 198.4 (MET) - Determining the composition of minerals by transmission electron microscopy to identify and quantify asbestos

AIRTESTS meets and complies with standards

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) IRSST (Robert Sauvé Institute for Health and Safety at Work) CSST (Commission for Health and Safety at Work)

Material characterization service that can contain asbestos in commercial, industrial and institutional buildings

Characterization service for materials that may contain asbestos for industrial equipment and heavy machinery

Material characterization service that can contain asbestos for the maritime, rail and air industries

Asbestos fiber sampling and deposition service in the air at construction sites and final tests of conformity

Asbestos sampling and analysis service contained in flocking and heat insulating / insulating and thermal barriers

Sampling and analysis service for materials containing and likely to contain asbestos fibers / MCA and MSCA

Industrial asbestos insulation

AIRTESTS meets the standards: EPA, IRSST and CSST

AIRTESTS meets the standards of the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the IRSST (Robert Sauvé Institute for Occupational Health and Safety) and the CSST (Commission for Occupational Health and Safety). It is based on the principles of the sampling protocol drafted by the EPA that the IRSST and the CSST rely to carry out asbestos surveys in buildings. The outline of this procedure defines a minimum number of samples to be taken according to the surface area of the same homogeneous material encountered. In addition, the EPA advises to avoid using the services of the same contractor to carry out corrective work and air quality tests, as this situation in itself represents a potential for conflict of interest.

Asbestos: Expertise and qualifications

Our characterization and sampling services for Asbestos Containing Materials (MSCA) are carried out under the responsibility of: Senior Environmental Technician in Phase 2 & 3. Chef team is B. Sc.

  • Over 15 years of experience in asbestos worksite;
  • Specialized in materials characterization (MCA / MSCA) and air quality;
  • Accredited by the IRSST as a recognized asbestos fiber meter;
  • OHS specialist and trainer;
  • Accredited ASP for construction sites.

Our characterization and sampling services for Asbestos Containing Materials (MSCA) are carried out under the responsibility of a senior environmental technician in phase 2 & 3. The team leader is a graduate B. Sc. Environment and has over 15 years of experience in asbestos worksite; It specializes in material characterization (MCA / MSCA) and air quality, and as such, it is accredited by the IRSST as a recognized asbestos fiber meter. In addition, he is a specialist and trainer in OHS and accredited by ASP for construction sites.

Characterization of asbestos in Québec buildings

And if asbestos was present in your premises? Asbestos has long been used as thermal (zonolite), acoustic and electrical insulation. Since the mid-1980s, its use has been restricted and marked, given the impact of asbestos on health.

Employers - did you know? Deadline to comply with the regulations and application on the safe management of asbestos in buildings: June 6, 2015 (inspection every 2 years) Tenant or owner of the building where your workers are, this concerns you also.

  • 1. Inspect the building:
  • 1a. To locate friable materials (flocking) containing asbestos (construction before February 15, 1990)
  • 1b. To locate insulating (heat insulating) materials containing asbestos (construction before May 20, 1999)
  • 2.Keep a register of materials that may contain or contain asbestos.
  • 3. Disclose the registry information to anyone who plans to do work.

CNESST could conduct inspections. Statements of offense could then be given. You must be able to prove the contrary by obtaining a data sheet or signage, which establishes the composition of flocking and heat insulation or the date of their installation or a consistent sampling report.

What concerns you You plan to do some work? Have asbestos checked for materials such as gypsum, ceiling tiles, etc. If necessary, asbestos removal work is required before your planned work. Also, protect your workers and inform them of the situation and the possible risk of asbestos dust. A minimum number of samples is to be taken according to the surface area of the same homogeneous material encountered.

Summary: Regulation and application. Deadline for employers regarding the safe management of asbestos: June 6, 2015. Québec legislation provides for the identification of materials that are likely to contain asbestos MSCA and the establishment of safe working procedures before any type of work likely to emit asbestos dust. All employers and employees in Quebec are subject to this legislation. In June 2013, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations1 (hereinafter the "Regulations") were amended to impose new requirements for employers on the safe management of asbestos and they have until June 6, 2015 to comply with these new requirements. Since the June 6, 2015 deadline has now been reached, all affected employers will have to have inspected their buildings. After June 6, 2015, the CSST should carry out inspections to ensure that employers have complied with the new standards, and reports of infractions may then be given in the event that this is not the case.

In context: Asbestos has long been used as thermal, acoustic and electrical insulation. Many buildings in Quebec contain asbestos-containing materials. However, since the mid-1980s, its use has been restricted and marked, given the impact of asbestos on health. The Regulations had contained asbestos standards for many years, but these standards did not require employers to undertake preventive risk management of asbestos.

The new requirements put in place by the regulation The Regulations now require employers to inspect the buildings in which their workers operate: In the case of buildings constructed before February 15, 1990, inspect the building to locate asbestos flocking and check the condition of the materials. Flocking is a mixture of friable materials applied by projection to cover a surface.

For buildings constructed before May 20, 1999, inspect the building to locate asbestos-containing insulation and check the condition of the materials. Insulation is an insulating material that covers an installation or equipment to prevent loss of heat. It is important to note that these inspection obligations apply to all employers, regardless of whether they are tenants or owners of the building where their workers are located. In the case where the employer is tenant of the building, it will have to agree with the owner on the responsibility of the cost of the inspections and if necessary, corrections required. However, the responsibility rests solely on the shoulders of the employer under the new regulations and not on the shoulders of the property owners.

In addition, it should be noted that the Regulation establishes a presumption of presence of asbestos in flocking and insulation, unless the employer proves otherwise. It is possible to rebut the presumption by providing documentary evidence (eg, technical sheet establishing the composition of materials) or a sampling report made in accordance with the Regulations. The initial flocking and heat insulating inspection must be completed no later than June 6, 2015 and every two years thereafter. An exception to this inspection schedule is provided where asbestos-containing flocking and insulation are entirely enclosed in a permanent, fiber-tight structure and access to flocking and heat-insulation is only possible by a destructive operation of the work. In addition to flocking and heat insulation, the Regulations also set out rules for all materials and products containing or likely to contain asbestos.

In the case where an employer plans to carry out work that is likely to emit dust, he must first check the presence of asbestos in the materials or products likely to contain it (eg gypsum ceiling, etc.) and, if they contain asbestos, take the necessary measures to protect workers. The Regulation also imposes an information obligation on workers who may be exposed to asbestos dust.

Note that when the materials previously mentioned are in a condition likely to release dust containing asbestos fibers, repair work must be carried out immediately, in accordance with the provisions of the Safety Code for the works. of construction. Once the characterization is done by a professional, the owner will be able to determine if asbestos removal work is required prior to the planned work. Generally, the plaster is composed of two layers, the base layer called "cementitious plaster", greyish color, and the white topcoat. Usually, asbestos is in the base layer, but it can happen that intermediate and finishing layers also contain it. That's why it's important to take the samples deep to extract all the layers.

It is also essential to sample on original plaster surfaces and avoid renovated areas that may skew the results. A representative characterization of a floor or a building likely to contain asbestos requires the respect of a procedure recognized by the provincial authorities. The sampling protocol drawn up by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and on which the Health and Safety at Work Commission (CSST) is based in Quebec is used to carry out the surveys. asbestos in buildings. The outline of this procedure defines a minimum number of samples to be taken according to the surface area of the same homogeneous material encountered.

Demonstration: Flocking and heat insulation are presumed to contain asbestos, subject to a demonstration to the contrary by one of the following means: Verifiable documentary information, such as a data sheet or a material safety data sheet, which establishes the composition of flocking and insulating materials or the date of their installation; A consistent sampling report including the results of an analysis performed on a sufficient number of representative samples to reveal the presence of asbestos on flocking and heat insulating materials in accordance with section of the Act. Asbestos test and laboratory asbestos test

... and the result of your test is positive? Depending on the analytical method used for the asbestos test, a trace concentration result is equivalent to an asbestos concentration of at least 0.1%; therefore deemed to contain.

If the tests are positive, you are obliged to take corrective measures, such as: Lock up MSCA / MCA in a permanent work; Coat or impregnate MSCA / MCA with bonding material; Cover MSCA / MCA with fiber-tight material; Remove MSCA / MCA according to the protocols prescribed for this purpose.

Little reminder! MCA: materials containing asbestos MSCA: materials likely to contain asbestos Whether a project is small (specialized personnel) or large (consultant specialized in asbestos management) size, the people present on the same construction site must work in close collaboration.

Classification of work that may involve the handling of asbestos: Any manipulation or plaster operation likely to contain asbestos, regardless of whether it is minor or major, requires the rigorous follow-up of asbestos-free procedures at ...

  • Low risk
  • Moderate
  • High risk;
  • Lightened or High

The analysis of samples of an asbestos test must be carried out according to one of the methods specified in the "Guide for sampling air contaminants in the workplace", published by the Robert Sauvé Research Institute. health and safety of work as it reads when it applies, or according to a method that achieves an equivalent accuracy. Depending on the analytical method used for the asbestos test, a trace concentration result is equivalent to an asbestos concentration of at least 0.1%. The laboratory conducting this analysis must participate in an inter-laboratory quality control program. Laboratory analyzes are accredited by the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change (MDDELCC). All samples taken are analyzed in the laboratory and approved by microbiologists specialized in microbiology. Laboratory technicians are certified by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). All laboratory operations are performed according to the international standard ISO / IEC 17025. All sampling methods used for asbestos testing comply with the standards and regulations of the Quebec Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Research (IRSST) and the Health and Safety at Work Regulations of Health Canada. AIRTESTS sampling technicians are continuously trained according to the protocols prescribed by the laboratory.

Result of an asbestos test The flocking or heat insulation from which a sample with an asbestos concentration of at least 0.1% is obtained is deemed to contain it. When a test result from a certified laboratory has been found to be positive, you are required to take corrective action on flocking, heat insulation and interior coatings that may contain asbestos in loss of integrity, you must make corrections. The applicable remedial options for Asbestos Containing Materials (MSCA) are:

  • Lock up MSCA / MCA in a permanent work;
  • Coat or impregnate MSCA / MCA with bonding material;
  • Cover MSCA / MCA with fiber-tight material;
  • Remove MSCA / MCA according to the protocols prescribed for this purpose.

The involvement of stakeholders who may be in contact with asbestos In order to stop the risks caused by asbestos, people on the same construction site must work closely together. In smaller projects, it is strongly recommended that the work be supervised by specialized personnel: engineering services, architects, engineers responsible for the works, contractors and sub-contractors. In large-scale work, a consultant specialized in asbestos management is essential to set up working procedures, to supervise and verify asbestos removal methods (or asbestos removal), and to carry out air sampling required by regulation.

Classification of work that may involve the handling of asbestos Any manipulation or operation of plaster that may contain asbestos, regardless of whether it is minor or major, requires the rigorous follow-up of procedures in asbestos conditions at low, moderate, high, low or high risk as described in section 3.23 of the Safety Code for the Construction Industry, s-2.1, r.6. Since the level of risk to be respected depends on the amount of debris generated by the demolition, an assessment of their total volume is required before the work begins. Thus, drilling asbestos-containing plaster is considered low risk if the equipment with which one works is equipped with a suction system with high efficiency filters (HEPA) and that it is placed directly at the source of the emission of debris; but this act is of moderate risk if the intervention generates a volume of debris less than 1 cu. On the other hand, the opening or the complete demolition of a wall and / or a ceiling generates a high density of plaster debris. In this major type of intervention, the risk is considered high lightened when the volume of plastery debris reaches between 1 cu. and 10 cu. ft. and High when the amount is greater than 10 cu. Regardless of the level of risk generated by these types of work, they require the installation of negative pressure sealed work enclosures as well as airlock and / or decontamination enclosures. Work classified as Low and Moderate risk can be performed by trained maintenance personnel with the necessary personal protective equipment and tools, while High and Low risk work must be reserved as stipulated provincial law, specialized contractors with the required experience, and appropriately trained staff. The Safety Code for construction works requires mastery of many theoretical points by these specialists, here is the detail:

  • The effects of asbestos on health;
  • The rights and obligations of workers;
  • Prevention and control methods;
  • The general obligations of the contractor;
  • Safe work processes and methods;
  • Applicable standards and sampling to be performed;
  • The tasks to be performed as well as the equipment or tools used;
  • Individual and collective means and protective equipment.

Insulating asbestos insulation

Rapport d'échantillonnage d'un test d'amiante

Sampling report of an asbestos test The employer must obtain an asbestos test sampling report when samples are taken for analysis on flocking and heat insulation. Such a report must contain the following information: The name and qualification of the person responsible for the sampling report; For each flocking and insulation, a list of samples taken and their location; The analysis report of the samples; the asbestos analysis method used; The name and address of the laboratory that performed the analyzes and the identification of the inter-laboratory quality control program in which it participates. The Regulation also provides that employers will have to put in place a register containing at least the following information:

  • The date of the inspection;
  • Location and condition of flocking;
  • The location and condition of the heat insulators;
  • Location and condition of other materials containing asbestos;
  • When the information is available and attached to the register, the absence of asbestos;
  • Where information is available and attached to the register, the type of asbestos;
  • When required, the date and description of any actions or works performed on these materials.

In the event of a relocation of the business, the registry should be forwarded to subsequent tenants or owners to ensure the transfer of information.

Services offered concerning asbestos

What can AIRTESTS do for you?

Our characterization services include sampling and analysis of asbestos-containing materials (MSCA), as well as identification of ACMs based on the following criteria: Location
Accessibility
Condition
Friability

Our asbestos management program contains; It includes the following recommendations:
o The actions to be taken gradually so that your building can operate optimally in the context of its daily operation, its regular maintenance or when it comes to entering its renovation phases.
o Which member of your staff will be trained so that the management of asbestos is partly taken care of internally. Your management plan will help you assess the most cost-effective short- and long-term solutions between asbestos removal, containment and encapsulation.

In brief, we offer…

  • Characterization of buildings:
  • For Materials Suspected of Containing Asbestos (MSCA);
  • For Materials Containing Asbestos (MCA);
  • For flocking and heat insulating;
  • For demolition (+ Pb, Hg, PBC);
  • For renovations by zones (partial);

In addition we offer a range of related services...

  • Sampling and analysis of asbestos tests required by legislation;
  • Collection and analysis of air tests before, during and after asbestos removal;
  • Removal of insulating materials in specific areas;
  • Removal of insulating materials, including vermiculite;
  • Approved laboratory analysis of MSCA / MCA collected in bulk;
  • Inventory system of hazardous materials on open spreadsheet;
  • Writing characterization reports with recommendations;
  • Writing of asbestos management programs;
  • Customized training of workers and professionals;
  • Daily monitoring of asbestos removal work;
  • Checking the tightness of asbestos containment walls
  • Report and register on the safe management of asbestos.
  • Characterization of materials likely to contain asbestos

Sound management of asbestos-containing materials (MSCA / MCA) starts with the complete characterization of a building and its mechanical components. Our characterization services include the sampling and analysis of materials that may contain asbestos, as well as the identification of ACMs based on location, accessibility, general condition and friability criteria. All of this information is then carefully accumulated in an electronic report in the form of a computer database.

The range of our asbestos services

Characterization of MSCA / MCA is the starting point for establishing a successful asbestos management program. A good asbestos management program will include recommendations on the actions to be progressively taken so that a building can operate optimally in the context of its daily operation, its regular maintenance or when it comes to entering in its renovation phases. This asbestos management program recommends (if applicable) which member of your staff will be trained so that asbestos management is partly supported internally. Your management plan will help you assess the most cost-effective short- and long-term solutions between asbestos removal, asbestos containment and asbestos encapsulation. Lock up MSCAs in a permanent structure (containment of asbestos); Coat or impregnate MSCA with a binding material (encapsulation of asbestos); Cover MSCA with fiber-tight material (encapsulation / containment of asbestos); Remove MSCA according to the protocols prescribed for this purpose (permanent removal of asbestos).

The range of our asbestos services

  • Characterization of buildings for Asbestos Containing Materials (MSCA);
  • Characterization of buildings for Asbestos Containing Materials (MCA);
  • Characterization of buildings for flocking and heat insulation;
  • Characterization of buildings for demolition (+ Pb, Hg, PBC);
  • Partial characterization of buildings for renovation purposes by zones;
  • Sampling and analysis of asbestos tests required by legislation;
  • Air sampling before, during and after asbestos removal;
  • Removal of insulating materials in specific areas;
  • Removal of insulating materials, including vermiculite;
  • Approved laboratory analysis of MSCA / MCA collected in bulk;
  • Inventory system of hazardous materials on open spreadsheet;
  • Writing characterization reports with recommendations;
  • Writing of asbestos management programs;
  • Customized training of workers and professionals;
  • Daily monitoring of asbestos removal work;
  • Verification of the tightness of asbestos containment walls;
  • Report and register on the safe management of asbestos.
  • Sources of asbestos in buildings

Recall

Asbestos is the name given to a number of natural, fibrous and flexible high tensile strength minerals that have high heat resistance (non-combustible, infusible) and many chemicals. Very popular between the 1950s and 1980s, it is found in homes and commercial buildings of this period. Asbestos is an anti-friction material and thermal insulation that can be found in devices such as:
Refrigerators
Industrial ovens
Water Heater
Steam and hot water pipes

Asbestos fibers, when inhaled, pose a health risk. There is no fear to have when they are embedded or sealed in a product such as a wall covering or a floor covering.

Asbestos is the name given to a number of natural, fibrous and flexible high tensile strength minerals that have high heat resistance (non-combustible, infusible) and many chemicals. It is because of these characteristics that asbestos has been used in more than 2,500 different building products over the last century. Very popular between the years 1950 and 1980, this fibrous rock is found in the majority in the houses and the commercial buildings which were built or renovated during this period, and it does not matter the environment, that it is industrial, institutional, commercial or residential. It should also be considered that asbestos is a friction material and a thermal insulator, and can be found in appliances such as refrigerators, industrial ovens, water heaters and in steam pipes and heaters. Hot water.

Asbestos fibers, when inhaled, pose a health risk. There is no fear to have when they are integrated or sealed in a product such as a wall covering or a floor covering, since they are not found in the ambient air. On the other hand, there is a danger potential when a material containing asbestos deteriorates (wear, breakage, accident, water damage) or during maintenance, repair or construction work. Because any manipulation or deterioration of an asbestos-based product may cause the detachment and dispersal of fibers, and generate a high concentration of their presence in the air, for which it is important to perform a asbestos test. You can visit the Government of Canada website to learn more about the health risks associated with asbestos.

Asbestos sources in commercial buildings Because asbestos is a useful reinforcement, insulation and fireproofing material, it has been used extensively in building materials. In order to verify if asbestos is present in a commercial building or in a factory dating from before 1980, it is useful to have an asbestos test carried out on materials such as:

  • Plaster on wooden slats
  • drywall of gypsum
  • Joint and stucco compounds
  • Plaster on wire mesh
  • Plaster-plaster textured walls
  • Shingles and roofing tar
  • Caulking doors and windows
  • Linoleum and vinyl floor tile
  • Suspended ceiling tiles
  • Flexible ventilation seals
  • Electrical wiring
  • Water heaters and hoses
  • Ventilation ducts
  • Water and sewer pipes
  • Thermal insulation panels
  • Thermal insulation, hot water pipe
  • Ovens, incinerators and chimneys
  • Asbestos cement wall panels
  • Insulation of refrigerating appliances
  • Insulation, steam ducts
  • Flocking, insulation projection
  • Boilers and tanks

Why vermiculite can be dangerous

Vermiculite is a clay mineral used primarily for the insulation of attics (attics), but sometimes found in walls or as sub-floor insulation. This insulating ore carries a health hazard when it contains volatile fibers. These stay longer in the lungs and, therefore, could cause damage and illness. Asbestos is the generic name for a host of fibrous minerals found naturally in rock formations around the world. When inhaled, amphibole fibers stay longer in the lungs than chrysotile fibers. They are therefore likely to inflict damage and cause diseases, including cancer. Chrysotile is the only serpentine asbestos present in almost all asbestos products on the market today and is the most widely used form of asbestos.

Vermiculite is a clay mineral that is used primarily for the insulation of attics, commonly referred to as attics, and attics, but sometimes this material is also found in walls or as sub-floor insulation. This insulating ore is a health hazard when it contains amphibole-type asbestos that has volatile fibers. These stay longer in the lungs and, therefore, could cause damage and illness. Only a laboratory analysis of vermiculite samples can detect the presence of asbestos of this type.

Industrial materials containing asbestos

The mineral nomenclature of asbestos

Group of serpentines

Curved fibers> Chrysotile or white asbestos is one (1) fibrous form that is divided into three (3) species: clinochrysotile, parachrysotile and orthochrysotile. It represents 94% of the global asbestos market.

Group of amphiboles

Straight fibers> Amphiboles or blue / brown / green asbestos contain five (5) fibrous forms, including crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, actinolite and anthophyllite. They represent 6% of the world market and are present in 50% of vermiculites.

Asbestos is the generic name for a host of fibrous minerals found naturally in rock formations around the world. Because asbestos fibers are tough, durable and flame retardant, they have been used extensively in the industry, mainly in construction and friction materials. Commercial asbestos fibers belong to two major mineralogical groups: serpentine (chrysotile) and amphibole (tremolite, actinolite and others).

Amphibole asbestos often contains more iron and is resistant to acid and very high temperatures; this explains why it has been used extensively in industrial furnaces and heating systems. However, when inhaled, amphibole fibers stay longer in the lungs than chrysotile fibers. They are therefore likely to inflict damage and cause diseases, including cancer. Amphibole asbestos have therefore been subject to stringent control measures and have largely been replaced.

Chrysotile is the only serpentine asbestos present in almost all asbestos products on the market today and is the most widely used form of asbestos. The structure and chemical composition of chrysotile differ from amphibole. It is generally known that chrysotile asbestos is less potent and has fewer side effects on health than amphibole. Because there is a risk of accumulation, avoid dust collecting (wall mats, heavy curtains, non-washable stuffed animals). The asbestos content of a product does not necessarily indicate a risk to health. If asbestos fibers are encapsulated or strongly bound in a matrix, the risk of inhaling them is minimal. The main problem with asbestos is the so-called "friable" (easily peeled) amphibole-type fibers that were sprayed into buildings until the 1970s. People working in the construction, maintenance and renovation of Old buildings must take special care when handling this type of asbestos.

Health risks associated with asbestos

Performing an asbestos test is a wise choice! Construction workers are most at risk of being exposed to a significant amount of asbestos, especially during renovation and demolition work where asbestos is handled or not properly removed. The risk is also high in the area of conservation and maintenance of historic buildings where asbestos is very present. The air containing airborne asbestos fibers represents a real danger, because after inhalation, the lung tissue impregnates these asbestos fibers, drowns them, and this contamination can lead to serious consequences such as asbestosis, mesothelioma or lung cancer.

Asbestosis, although a non-cancerous disease, is degenerative. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. The biggest cause of death from exposure to asbestos dust is lung cancer. A large majority of its victims come from asbestos workers: extractors, grinders and manufacturers.

The spread of asbestos-containing materials can occur during repairs, renovation or demolition work. To be harmful, the effects of asbestos on health must meet the following factors:

  • The duration of the exposure;
  • The frequency of exposures;
  • The effect combined with smoking;
  • The concentration of fibers in the air;
  • The size of inhaled asbestos fibers;
  • The combined effect of other contaminants;
  • The time elapsed since the first exposure.

Natural or processed asbestos fibers are generally present only in very small amounts in soil, water and air.

Asbestos in the environment

Apart from the places where work is carried out, natural or transformed asbestos fibers are generally only present in very small quantities in soil, water and air. The air of rural areas has a concentration of asbestos about 10 times less than that of large cities or metropolises; which corresponds to a rate 1,000 times lower than the levels now accepted in jobs related to this industry. Exposure to such small concentrations of asbestos fibers makes environmental risks negligible. In the case of raw water, some sources of supply, as a result of natural erosion, may contain high levels of chrysotile asbestos fibers. There is no evidence that ingestion of these asbestos fibers is harmful to health, and conventional methods of water treatment greatly reduce their presence.