Because of its widespread use in Canada and in particular in the Greater Toronto Area, asbestos is a fear for any Toronto homeowner. To understand the dangers associated with this common household insulation material, we consult with reputable sources of information, like the Health Canada website.
To keep up with current research, Health Canada periodically makes changes to their website to ensure that Canadians have access to the latest facts. Once such update was recently made to the asbestos page on the site, and we’re here to help you understand what these changes mean to you.
Different Types of Asbestos
Wait, let us back up for a minute. To understand the changes to the classifications of asbestos, it’s important to understand that there are different types of asbestos:
Chrysotile Asbestos (white) is the type most commonly found in residential and commercial building materials in North America. The use of chrysotile asbestos is vast and widespread, including in automotive parts and materials. It was once thought to be less dangerous than other types, but we’ll come back to that in a minute.
Amosite Asbestos (brown) is typically found in commercial installations for cement sheets and pipe insulation. It is produced in Africa, and its use is less widespread on this continent, but it is still present in some parts of Canada.
Crocidolite Asbestos (blue) is known for being the most heat-resistant type of asbestos. That’s why it was most often used in fireproofing materials like pipe insulation and spray foams. Because it was predominantly mined in South Africa, many people are surprised to learn just how extensively crocidolite was used in North America.
There are many different kinds of asbestos present in commercial and residential structures in Toronto and the surrounding area. The one thing they all have in common is the fact that exposure to their fibers can be harmful in any quantity.
Changes to Health Canada’s Classifications for Asbestos
The most notable change to the Health Canada website page on asbestos is the update to the section on chrysotile asbestos. As mentioned previously, chrysotile was once thought to be less dangerous than other types of asbestos because it required a much greater level of exposure before incidences of asbestos-related cancers showed a marked increase.
Most people now realize that even minimal exposure to a known carcinogen can be hazardous to human health. This change is a positive one for the public health of Canadians, and we’re pleased to see this small but important update.
Asbestos Testing in Toronto
You can’t confirm the presence of asbestos just by looking at it. If you have been comparing pictures of a mystery substance in your house to Google images and suspect the presence of asbestos in your Toronto home, the next step is to arrange for asbestos testing. It’s important to make decisions about your home’s safety based on facts, not fear.
Once you have confirmed whether or not there is asbestos in your house, a professional Toronto asbestos removal company can help you decide your next steps.