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The Dangers of Asbestos in Calgary and Canadian Jobsites

Overview: Recent data obtained by The Globe and Mail states that asbestos is the single largest on the job killer in Canada. There is a continued misconception about the dangers of asbestos and its long-term effects on human health. Read the blog below to find out about the dangers of this hazardous material at jobsites.

The Numbers

  • 368 death claims last year.
  • 5,000 approved death claims since 1996, stemming from asbestos exposure.
  • Canada was one of the largest exporters of asbestos until 2011.
  • Time from exposure to symptoms can be 20-40 years.
  • 82 of the 193 fatalities from mesothelioma in 2013 were contributed to asbestos as a factor.
  • Approximately 152,000 workers in Canada are currently exposed to asbestos (according to Carex Canada).

Although several countries including Australia, Britain and Japan have banned asbestos, Canada allows the import of products that contain the hazardous material. Canadian health officials warn citizens about the health risks that are involved with asbestos, but don’t fully state that even low levels of asbestos can have a detrimental effect on human health. Most research concludes that all forms of asbestos are known human carcinogens. Regardless of federal policy, the public and especially people that work in industries that handle asbestos need to be aware of how dangerous the asbestos fibres can be when absorbed into the body.

Even if Canada were to ban asbestos, there would still be an increase in diseases caused by asbestos for the next 10 years. The increased number in the next decade is due to the fact that asbestos can remain dormant in the body for a long duration of time. Many victims die from mesothelioma that has been linked almost exclusively to asbestos exposure. The World Health Organization and Canada differ on their position on exactly what the effects of asbestos are. The WHO takes the stand that all types of asbestos cause several types of cancers. Canada believes that the fibres can potentially cause cancer depending on how much asbestos fibres are absorbed in the body.

As policy makers and advocates debate the idea of banning asbestos from Canada, citizens need to take continued precautions when dealing with the dangerous material. With recent demands in occupational health and safety careers, managers and business owners need to take proactive measures to keep employees safe from work sites that contain asbestos. With home renovations and en suites becoming increasingly popular, materials containing asbestos are often broken down in the demolition process and become airborne. Keeping environments like construction sites and home renovations clear of asbestos fibres from breaking free, is unrealistic. For that reason, only fully trained contractors like the team at 24/7 Restoration should handle work sites that have hazardous materials.

The Bottom Line: Until asbestos is banned from Canada, the reality is that materials containing asbestos are found at a variety of worksites and homes. The asbestos fibres when inhaled by the human body have negative effects on the respiratory system and can lead to diseases like cancer. When working on either construction sites or private homes, employers have a big responsibility of keeping their employees safe. Companies like24/7 Restoration are experts at handling and disposing materials containing asbestos from jobsites and homes. They complete a rigorous training program and are fully equipped to handle asbestos safely. 24/7 Restoration’s top priority is to keep their employees safe from the dangers of hazardous materials, which in turn keeps everyone safe on all job sites.

For more information on asbestos removal, or hazardous material removal in general, contact 24/7 Restoration today at (403) 247-4365.

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