What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral fibre used in several building materials that is fibrous in structure and resistant to fire and acid. There are three main types of asbestos: chrysotile is commonly used in building materials; amosite is used in insulation, and crocidolite is commonly used in cements.
Asbestos can be classified as friable or non-friable. Friable means that it can be crumpled using only manual pressure, non-friable means it can’t.
Something is considered to be asbestos-containing if it has more than 0.5% asbestos per dry weight—at LEAP, we determine this through sampling and analysis.
Why is asbestos a health hazard?
Asbestos is comprised of bundles of fibrous strands. When the fibres become disturbed, the strands break down into smaller, thinner microscopic pieces that can become airborne. These microscopic fibres are able to get past the lungs’ respiratory defenses and embed themselves in the organ, causing cancers such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Asbestos has a very long latency period, usually taking over 10 years before any symptoms occur, and most cases are found in individuals involved in long-term exposure, such as the manufacturing and installation of asbestos products. The risk of lung cancer from asbestos is greatly increased in individuals who smoke.
What building materials in my home may contain asbestos?
Materials such as drywall, plaster, vinyl sheet flooring, vinyl floor tile, textured finish/textured coat, pipe insulation, tank or boiler insulation, exterior siding, roofing materials, drain pipes, attic insulation, paper insulation around duct work, mastics, and caulking—among others—can contain asbestos.
Why is it important to know if there is asbestos in my home?
Many homes built before 1985 were built with asbestos-containing products. If you are considering a home renovation, these building materials may get disturbed and release fibres into the air, which can be dangerous for you and your family. It is important to identify any asbestos-containing materials prior to the renovation project so that they are removed properly, preventing any exposure.
How We Can Help:
Asbestos Survey: A detailed inspection of the home; sampling materials suspected to contain asbestos; and providing a meticulous report containing a summary of the quantity and condition of all building materials confirmed to contain asbestos.
Asbestos Project Management: Overseeing the removal of asbestos by a qualified contractor and providing air clearance, along with a final report.
Asbestos Bulk Management: Collection and submission of a sample to a third-party laboratory to confirm the asbestos content of a given material.
Asbestos air sampling: The collection of air samples to identify the concentration of airborne fibres in the home.