Sustainable housing and real estate in Kitchener-Waterloo Region

Preventing Asbestos Exposure and GREEN Alternatives for the Home
July 6, 2009, 9:48 pm
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My friend Joe Lederman at the Mesothelioma Cancer Center sent me this article on asbestos and asked me to repost it here. Asbestos can be found in many older homes and should be treated with caution. Special measures must be taken in its removal and disposal and it should only be handled by trained and protected professionals.

“Preventing Asbestos Exposure and GREEN Alternatives for the Home

Located in East Central Canada, Ontario is a province known for being the nation’s capital, most populous city and beautiful natural landscapes. Many potential home buyers are flocking to this great area and it is easy to see why. The path to home ownership is a wonderful experience but one that should be approached cautiously and vigorously. Having the assistance from a reliable Waterloo, Ontario Real Estate agent can make this process simple and stress free.

Highly regarded for its fire, heat and versatile qualities, asbestos was used in construction applications throughout the 20th century. Often appearing as insulation, piping, roofing and flooring, homes and buildings could still contain asbestos materials if they were built prior to 1980.


This should not make you jump out of your seat because asbestos exposure is easily preventable by taking simple precautions. There are many environmentally friendly forms of insulation that not only are healthy green building alternatives to asbestos, but may even help reducing annual energy costs.


If you locate any suspected asbestos, most experts advise to leave it alone. If you are having home renovations, performed, do not panic. A home inspector can determine the best course of action. In most cases, the best action is no action in regards to asbestos.

Long and frequent exposure to airborne asbestos fibers may lead to the development of a rare lung ailment known as mesothelioma. Diagnosis of these forms of asbestos lung cancer has been a difficult task for mesothelioma doctors because mesothelioma symptoms are so similar to other, less serious conditions. Manufacturers of asbestos obtained medical evidence of its corrosive qualities but continued shipping the substance anyways, leaving workers and homeowners exposed on a frequent basis.

Healthy Tips

The Health Canada Organization offers assistance and information in the prevention, disposal and removal of asbestos. They are federally responsible for helping citizens maintain and improve health at home and the work place. The inspection and removal of toxic substances must be performed by licensed abatement contractors who are trained in handling dangerous materials. They work under state and federal regulations to ensure no health concerns arise from improper removal.

The French speaking Canadian province, Quebec, is the main producer of asbestos in the country and has countered attempts at blacklisting the substance. The asbestos industry has conducted false research and propaganda in continuing the exportation of the product. Asbestos was used hundreds of thousands of products throughout the world. With the consistent growth in technology and public awareness, there are currently a number of products which replace the need for asbestos.

Once the area is asbestos free, environmentally sustainable materials should be considered including cotton fiber, cellulose and lcynene, water based spray polyurethane foam that can reduce energy costs annually.  These green options have the same beneficial qualities as asbestos, minus the health deteriorating and toxic components.”