What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral prevalent in Canadian construction projects and the manufacturing of key building materials during the mid-to-late 20th century. In some cases, the fibrous mineral was used to fortify building materials like concrete and drywall to enhance durability and strength. In contrast, asbestos was used in others to improve heat resistance and prevent fires.
There are many different forms of the mineral, all of which are hazardous and require asbestos removal in Mississauga, Toronto, Montreal, and other major Canadian cities.
Canada's long history with asbestos, being one of the first nations globally to mine and manufacture the mineral, leaves us in need of asbestos removal in Mississauga, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and many of the older, more established cities.
Two Groups of Asbestos: Serpentine & Amphibole
Asbestos is divided into two categories based on the properties of the mineral's fibres. Restoration and abatement teams conduct asbestos testing in Mississauga and Toronto to determine what type of asbestos is present in any given material to assess the risk level of the contamination.
- Serpentine Asbestos: Here, the mineral's fibres are long, curly, and flexible. Chrysotile, or white asbestos, belongs to this category and is the most common type of asbestos used in construction. While Chrysotile is considered the least harmful of all the commonly encountered forms of the mineral, it should always be treated with an abundance of caution. White asbestos can be found in ceilings, drywall, flooring, duct and pipe wraps, and even building appliances. Even if the asbestos testing in Mississauga determines that it is Chrysotile on your property, abatement is the safest course of action.
- Amphibole Asbestos: In this category, there are multiple types of the mineral. Two of the most popular are Amosite (Brown Asbestos) and Crocidolite (Blue Asbestos). With long, straight, and rigid fibres, amphibole asbestos is considered more dangerous, primarily because of the damage the needle-like particles can cause to internal tissue linings with minimal exposure. While Amphibole asbestos was used less frequently than Chrysotile, Amosite is still found during asbestos inspections and testing in ceiling tiles, thermal insulation, and other materials. At the same time, Crocidolite is detected in cement, pipe insulation, and spray-on coatings.
Other types of asbestos are less common but still exist, such as Tremolite, Anthophyllite, and Actinolite. Tremolite was used for a short period of time for insulating materials. Anthophyllite and Actinolite were not commonly used for commercial products but were present in many Vermiculite mines, leaving them to be found in vermiculite insulations today.
Asbestos Inspections, Detection & Removal
While the most prominent types of asbestos have a colour attributed to them. These colours should not be used to identify the mineral. The safest approach to asbestos detection and removal is via a licensed and certified provider of asbestos removal in Mississauga and Toronto. Getting close enough to asbestos-containing materials to see a colour puts you at increased risk for exposure.
How is Asbestos Dangerous?
When its fibres separate and are released into the air, asbestos can be easily inhaled or ingested by anyone in its path. As fibres float around the air, they continually divide into smaller particles that become increasingly difficult to detect and protect yourself from. Upon entering the body, these stiff, sharp fibres scar tissues leading to chronic illnesses such as Mesothelioma and Asbestosis. Asbestos testing in Mississauga, Toronto, Ottawa, and some of the country's oldest buildings can stop these illnesses and save lives.
If you're a property owner concerned about asbestos, contact Canada's Restoration Services today.
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