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IAQ And Asbestos – What You Need To Know

IAQ And Asbestos – What You Need To Know

IAQ and AsbestosIAQ and Asbestos have been linked together for many years now. We have known about the effects that asbestos can have on humans and have taken many safety steps to prevent fatalities and long term health effects caused by asbestos.

What is Asbestos and what are the links between IAQ And Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibre that was commonly used in the construction industry starting in the 1950s up until the mid-1990s. It was heavily used due to its strong properties as an insulator and good fire protection.

If you own a home built or work in a building that was erected before the 1990s it is very likely that there is Asbestos in some portion of the structure.

Where can you find Asbestos in buildings?

Because of the many uses of Asbestos in construction it can be found in many areas of the home but here are the most common:

  1. Drywall tape, compound or drywall mud often contained Asbestos.
  2. Insulation wrapped around mechanical systems such as boilers, furnaces and duct ventilation tape often have high content of Asbestos.
  3. Floor tile before the 1990s no matter the size or shape often contain Asbestos, there was a rumor that you could tell if it had Asbestos by the size alone this is false.
  4. The paper backing found in linoleum flooring found an older construction may contain high concentrations of asbestos. The paper backing can tear easily and releases high concentrations so proper procedures and care must be taken when removing this product.
  5. Spray fireproofing found in commercial buildings typically around structural supports may contain asbestos.
  6. Vermiculite which is a lightweight insulation product that was known for its fire resistant capabilities has been used in the construction industry for many attics and walls. You should always assume that this product will contain asbestos and have it tested by qualified personnel to determine otherwise.

Make sure to have your home tested for asbestos if it was built in the early 1990’s before starting any home renovations that might disturb the asbestos. Always take proper safety procedures when working around it.

Read more here about the health risks of asbestos: Health Canada