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We will soon provide you with the latest informations regarding asbestos safety management and other topics you might need answers!
We would be pleased to answer your questions.
What informations an asbestos containing materials registry must contain ?
The informations in the registry must include the localisation, the date of last inspection and the actual physical state of certain asbestos materials that are present in the building :
-All flocking presents in every building who were build before 15 February 1990;
-All heat insultating materials present un every building who were built before 20 May 1999;
-Every gypsum boards and joint compund manufactured before 1 january 1980;
-Every interior finish who are likely to contain asbestos and who can emit dust because of its state.
If these materials or other materials likely to contain asbestos were modify, altered or removed, the description of the action taken, dates and the presence or absence of asbestos, the type of asbestos fibers and the document of proof must been writen in the registry in addition to the other mandatories informations.
Also, the registry must included informations on every other material containing asbestos present in the building with a proof which can be a documentray proof or a report form a laboratory who are accredited by the IRSST.
How can I know that the laboratory who analysed the material likely to contain asbestos are accredited ?
In Quebec, counters of asbestos fibers and laboratories who want to proceed analysis of asbestos fibers must employed defined methods and participate in the interlaboratory quality control program elaborate and manage by the IRSST.
A complete list of these counter of asbestos fibers are present here :http://www.irsst.qc.ca/laboratoires/programmes-reconnaissance/cq-fibres/liste-compteurs
How a material can be considered to containing asbestos ?
In Quebec, a material contain asbestos when his total asbestos concentration are 0,1% or higher. This concentration may varie from one province to another.
In Quebec, that concentration must be obtain by a specific methods conducted by a laboratory accredited by the IRSST.
On what occasion do I need to check for asbestos in construction materials ?
Since May 22, 2013, all employers and/or building owners must inspect buildings that are on their autority and that are frequented by workers in order to create an asbestos containing materials registry.
Also, before proceeded to direct or indirect actions that can make a particular material possibily emit dust or fibers, the employer must verify if the materials contain or not asbestos. Likewise, the employers must also verify that the construction materials that he buy does not contain asbestos.
Which are the construction materials contianing asbestos ?
The regulation respecting occupational health and safety target specifically these materials :
-All flocking presents in every building who were build before 15 February 1990;
-All heat insulating materials present un every building who were built before 20 May 1999;
-Every gypsum boards and joint compound manufactured before 1 january 1980;
-Every interior finish who are likely to contain asbestos and who can emit dust because of its state presents in every building who were build before 15 February 1990;

Also, numerous other construction materials manufactured before 1990 are likely to contain asbestos.

The CNESST publish a non exhaustive list on his website :

The Ontario ministry of labor also publish a list of these materials :
When must I inspect my building(s) for asbestos ?
If you are an employer or a building owners and have workers that frequent your buildings, you had 2 years starting on May 22th, 2013, to inspect your buildings and elaborate an asbestos containing materials registry.

Starting at the time you have made your registry, you must inspect every 2 years all materials that contain or may contain asbestos to note their physical state and made right correction if necessary.
Why asbestos is so harmfull to health ?
The asbestos fiber, when emitted in the air and breathed, can be very toxic for the respiratory system. Every asbestos types can cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, three deadly conditions.
In the actual state of knowledge, if the asbestos fiber is not emited in the air and if it could be contain in a non-friable matrix, it seems to do no harm to health.
Why vermiculite is linked to asbestos ?
Vermiculite who were commercialized between 1920 to 1990 may contain asbestos as impurity. It is particulary the case of some products, the most famous being zonolite attic insultation, extracted from the Libby mine, located in Montana, USA.
It is imperative that all vermiculite installed before 1999 must be test to determine if it contain asbestos before planning any work who can displace it.
What are the risks categories for asbestos removal works ?
The safety code for construction industry state four categories :
Construction site with low risk work
Construction site with moderate risk work
Construction site with moderately-high risk work
Construction site with high-risk work
These class are determine by the nature of work done and the type of materials who will be affected by this work.
How can I determine the right category for my asbestos removal construction site ?
Determining the right asbestos removal category is a complexe task since a lot of factors are to be taken into account : type of respiratory protections, nature of materials, work to be done, management, etc.
The impact that this decision can have on the duration, cost and on the extent of the means employed during the works, this decision must not be taken without consulting an expert.
Helfy offer you that kind of service and much more, from the inspection of your building to the construction site surveillance.
Ask us !
If you want to start a particular work and you suspect that some materials to contain asbestos, what can you do ?
Before doing anything, you must be assure that the materials on which your are going to work contain or not asbestos.
This can be an easy task if the material is known to contain asbestos (eg. The product and company names are known to be asbestos containing product) or by its installation date. If by these means you can’t determine if it contain asbestos or not, you must contact an asbestos professional that can collect samples of the materials and analyzed them.
If some materials contain asbestos, you will have to make them removed by an asbestos removal specialist before proceeding to the planified works.
Helfy offer sampling and analizing services for asbestos and many more contaminants on any types of materials. Ask us !
Where are asbestos in a building ?
The asbestos fibers have many very interesting properties, notably to be an excellent thermic and electric insulant, fire resistant, can resist to high temperature, don’t rust, can support corosive action of many chemicals, etc.
Commercialized mostly between the 1930 and 1980, asbestos can be found everywhere ! It could be present in any given manufactured material (gypsum board, tile, Fiber cement board, carpet, etc.) but also in plaster, cement, bitumen and other mixed materials.
Asbestos was use in a plethora of application, commercial and residential, and by its harmfull effect on health, every building require a carefull inspection by an asbestos professionnal familiar with the materials that contain asbestos and with the methods of sampling and analyzing it.
Call Helfy if you have any questions regarding building inspection, sampling and analyzing of asbestos.
How molds can affect the indoor air quality?
In their growth cycle, molds can emit some air contaminants like volatil organic compounds, spores and endotoxins, which in turns can provoke health problem when in contact with the skin, eyes and the respiratory tract.
It is a common problem to indoor enviuronments where the dilution capacity of the contaminants are restraint by air volume of the environement and the ventilation system.
What is mold ?
The word mold is a generic term that refer to some group of fungus (mushroom) and are notably know to grow on any organic material. Mold are everywhere and generally do no harm, but when in large concentration inside of a building, the product that it emits when they growing can contaminate the air and can be harmfull to the people living in the building.
Which conditions are necessary to molds for growing ?
Molds need a substrate made of organic matters : gypsum board, wood, cellulose, plaster, fruits, vegetables, etc. with a temprature above 2 degree celsius and a relative humidity above 65%.
Buildings offen contain the first two conditions by design : the right substrate and the right temperature. Therefore relative humidity are the determining parameters for the presence or absence of mold. The origins of indoor air humidity can be numerous : bad ventilation, bad outside wall isolation, water damage, some activities who can generate water vapour, etc. The determination of the humidity source is the first step in the remediation of problem causes by molds.
How can we get rid of molds ?
Molds are pretty resistant and resiliant and their spores can be viable for centuries in very hard environementals conditions.
The decontamination process are accomplish in three steps. First it is imperative to found and eliminate the humidity source. After it is essential to do a complete removal of every contaminated materials. Finaly, a complete clean up of the room with a vaccum cleaner equip with an HEPA filter will allow to eliminate any contaminant or spores that could have dropping off on other materials.
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