We are experts on asbestos. We provide all asbestos-related services from building surveys to identify Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACMs) and other hazardous materials to final clearance inspections and onsite air clearance testing for asbestos removal projects.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral with long, thin fibrous crystals. The mineral was widely used in a large number of applications, particularly as a flame retardant or insulating material. Asbestos has also been found in many products around the home or office, including clapboard, roofing shingles, attic insulation (vermiculite), exterior siding, pipe and boiler covering, cement, caulking, roof patching material, furnace cement, driveway coatings, wallboard, textured and latex paints, acoustical ceiling tiles, wall plaster, vinyl floor tiles, appliance wiring, hair dryers, irons and ironing board pads.
In general, the use of asbestos has been discontinued due to the adverse health effects from inhalation of asbestos fibers. Asbestos is considered a designated material under the Controlled Products Regulations and is a known carcinogen. Although the mere presence of ACM in a building does not necessarily pose a health risk, there is a significant health risk if asbestos fibers become airborne and are inhaled. Chronic exposure to asbestos can lead to asbestosis and mesothelioma (a type of lung cancer).
Asbestos exposure continues to be the single largest on-the-job killer in Canada, accounting for more than a third of total workplace death claims. The best way to prevent unnecessary exposure to asbestos is to become aware of the materials that contain asbestos.
Manitoba workplace safety guidelines require a proper survey to be completed ahead of any planned renovations, and building owners or employers are require to develop an asbestos management plan if there are any ACM present.
Asbestos Building Inventories
If you are unsure which materials in a property contain asbestos, the first task is to complete a building survey and to prepare an inventory of asbestos-containing materials (ACM). Employers are responsible for ensuring that ACMs are identified. Part 37.1 of the Workplace Safety and Health Regulation states that any material suspected of containing asbestos is considered to contain asbestos until it is proven to be asbestos-free.
According to Manitoba workplace safety guidelines, any building built prior to 1990 may contain some type of asbestos-containing building materials, including plaster, joint compound used with drywall or floor tiles or vinyl sheet flooring.
This involves a thorough inspection of the entire building (commercial/industrial) for any items which could potentially contain asbestos. Bulk samples of suspect ACM are taken and analyzed for asbestos type and content, as needed.
ACM are identified and their current condition is evaluated. If the materials are in good condition, a control program can be implemented. If materials are heavily damaged or in poor condition, or if asbestos fibers are detected in the air, then an abatement project may be necessary.
Hazardous Materials Survey
Prior to significant renovation or demolition of buildings built between 1930 and 1990, a survey for asbestos-containing materials and other hazardous materials is required. These include designated materials and materials of special environmental concern.
- Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM)
- Ozone Depleting Substances
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Before demolishing a building or structure, hazardous substances including asbestos must be removed.
Asbestos Abatement Projects
The specific approach will vary with each project, and our services are always tailored to suit your specific needs, however where removal of asbestos-containing materials is necessary, our services can include any or all of the following:
- Scope of work: Onsite evaluation to determine appropriate abatement procedures, based on Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health regulations and guidelines.
- Set-up: Onsite inspection of abatement set-up prior to the start of the removal.
- Project Monitoring: Set-up of a negative pressure enclosure monitor/logger (OmniGuard IV) to continuously monitor the negative pressure differential and to log alarm conditions, based on requirements in Workplace Safety and Health Guidelines for working with asbestos.
- Air Monitoring: Air sampling and perimeter monitoring and inspections to ensure the integrity of the enclosure has not been compromised and to ensure asbestos fibres are contained within the abatement enclosure. This is required for higher risk or longer asbestos removal or abatement projects.
- Sample Analysis: Onsite analysis according to NIOSH 7400 (Asbestos and Other Fibers by PCM). This provides for rapid clearance following removal projects, within hours.
- Clearance Sampling: Onsite clearance inspections and air sampling within the enclosure are required at the completion of an asbestos removal or abatement project. We provide assurances that fiber concentrations are acceptable prior to dismantling the enclosure and reoccupying the space following a removal.
- Sub-Contracting and Contractor Selection: Removal of asbestos should only be done by trained professionals. Depending on the level of contamination, the amount of asbestos-containing material, the location, and the type of material, special precautions need to be taken. We can work with abatement contractors to ensure asbestos is removed safely and effectively.
- Reporting: Full, comprehensive reports providing interpretation of laboratory results, project overview and final clearance results.
If you require an abatement to remove hazards associated with asbestos-containing materials, or are unsure whether or not materials contain asbestos, please Contact Us to determine an appropriate course of action.