The abatement process involves various stages to ensure the safe removal and disposal of the toxic materials. Zetta is well versed in the removal procedures and has safely completed lots of abatement projects across Ontario in vacant and occupied residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.
Zetta Construction is often asked to provide asbestos abatement and removal services in a portion of a building, while the other portion continues to operate. We have the experience and technical expertise to remove the regulated and non-regulated asbestos-containing materials without interrupting productivity. During asbestos removal, Zetta utilizes engineering controls to prevent interruption of services and activities on separate floors.
Because of our longevity in the asbestos removal and disposal industry, Zetta offers its clients the benefits of very stable and trustworthy workforce; project managers, supervisors, and laborers with tremendous experience; and the technical capacity to understand and develop a work plan for each specific project.
Prior to demolition services, many facilities require environmental abatement which can include the removal of asbestos, vermiculite, pcbs, mould or various other contaminated materials.
Asbestos Testing :
We test for asbestos in accordance with Ontario Regulation 278/05, which means a minimum of three bulk samples or two air samples analysed by a certified laboratory per homogenous material/area. This makes our reports both certified and legal. We are fully certified, insured and WSIB. We perform work for many property management companies, contractors, private homeowners and schools.
Asbestos Bulk Sampling:
Common areas of concern for asbestos in homes includes asbestos in tile flooring, asbestos in popcorn ceiling, vermiculite asbestos insulation, asbestos pipe wrap, asbestos duct wrap, asbestos drywall joint compound and asbestos in textured plaster.
For the area(s) of concern we will take 3 representative bulk samples (each material) and submit these to the laboratory for analysis. We take three samples in accordance with Ontario Regulation 278/05, which requires a minimum of three samples per homogenous material in order to avoid a false negative. You will receive a laboratory report via email, in one-two business days. We will determine if no asbestos is present (ND – None Detected), or alternatively if asbestos is present, the quantity and the type i.e. chrysotile abets – 5%. Anything over 0.5% is considered unsafe, and should be handled accordingly.
Depending on the outcome of the testing, we will provide you with recommendations; and you are welcome to consult with us regarding asbestos safe work practices and asbestos handling. We can also perform an Asbestos Air Sample if the Asbestos Bulk Sample does contain asbestos.
Asbestos Air Sampling:
PCM asbestos air sampling can be performed to identify airborne asbestos and other fibres. Such tests prove to be very useful as clearance samples after asbestos abatement has been performed or in instances when you may be concerns that asbestos has been disturbed i.e. moving into a newly renovated house that is older than 1980.
TEM asbestos air samples provide the actual quantity of asbestos fibres specifically, however, PCM and TEM refer to laboratory analysis methods, one being more specific and expensive than the other. Ontario regulation 278/05 generally allows for PCM air sampling (see below) as a reasonable gage of whether or not the air is safe, however, TEM air sampling can be performed.
PCM Air Sampling (to detect asbestos and other fibres):
We will take a minimum of two air samples in the area(s) of concern (number of samples depends on square footage of affected area.) You will receive a report, via email, in four business days, namely the laboratory report. We will determine the quantity of airborne fibres. According to Ontario Regulation 278/05 Sec. 18(5), in order to “pass” this test, every air sample collected much have a concentration of fibres that does not exceed 0.01 fibres per cubic centimetre of air (<0.01 fibres/cc.) The air samples will run concurrently for 160 minutes. Each air sample, in accordance to Ontario Regulation, we collect 2,400 litres of air. Fans will be run to agitate the air while asbestos sampling, as per Ontario Regulation 278/05 requirement.
Sources of Asbestos
Occupational – The risks are greatest for workers in industries with produce and use asbestos, such as mining and milling. Today’s strict standards, however, limit workers’ exposure and the ban of most uses of amphibole asbestos have reduced the risk.
During renovations and repairs to older buildings, construction workers, tradespeople and other building maintenance workers may be exposed to very high concentrations of asbestos fibers.
Environmental – Negligible levels of asbestos fibres are found in the soil, water and air, both naturally and from man-made sources. Asbestos concentrations in the air in rural areas are about ten times lower than those in larger cities, which are about 1,000 times lower than levels accepted in today’s asbestos-related jobs. With such low exposure, environmental risks are negligible.
Buildings & Homes – Because it is a valuable reinforcing, insulating and fire-proofing material, asbestos was used widely in construction materials such as insulation board, asbestos cement, and floor and ceiling tiles. These products are very dense and do not release significant amounts of fibres under normal use. However, fibres may be release if these products are cut or damaged.
Asbestos fibre concentrations in the air in buildings are usually about the same as in the air outside, and are not a significant risk. However, levels may be higher if friable asbestos materials are disturbed. One of the main problems with asbestos came from sprayed or “friable” (easily broken up) amphibole asbestos used in buildings until the 1970s.
There is also concern about vermiculite insulation which may contain small amounts of amphibole asbestos, principally tremolite or actinolite. These amphibole fibres may cause health risks if disturbed. However, there is currently no evidence of risk to your health if the insulation is sealed behind wallboards and floorboards, isolated in the attic or otherwise kept from exposure to the home or interior environment, states Health Canada, April, 2011.
The Health Risks of Asbestos
Asbestos poses health risks only when fibres are present in the air that people breathe. We can determine the presence of airborne Asbestos fibres with PCM Asbestos Testing. How exposure to asbestos can affect you depends on:
- the concentration of asbestos fibres in the air;
- how long the exposure lasted;
- how often you were exposed;
- the size of the asbestos fibres inhaled; and/or
- the amount of time since the initial exposure
Options for asbestos removal, or asbestos abatement, vary based on the source and extent of the asbestos contamination. It is so dangerous to handle, safety precautions are spelled out by Ontario Ministry of Labour to protect the skilled, trained workers handling it. This is a job that simply must be left to professionals.
From our headquarters in Toronto, Zetta Construction has seen every type of asbestos contamination you can imagine. We are skilled in Type 1, 2, and 3 abatements and provide safe contaminated waste disposal. Zetta has the experience and the specialized equipment to remove every last asbestos fibre from your home.
Vermiculite, a mined mica-like mineral, was commonly used in attic insulation until the 1990s because of its effective fire-resistant and insulation qualities. Some vermiculite insulation may contain asbestos fibres that can cause health issues if disturbed during renovation or demolition.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can be found in a number of products including some older caulking compounds, paints, coolants, lubricants, and electrical equipment. Although banned throughout North America in 1977, PCBs are bioaccumulative and do not easily break down. They persist in the environment for long periods of time and are transferred up the food chain to other living organisms. (Health Canada)
Once used as an additive to make a little paint go further, lead is now recognized as a harmful toxin. Canadian paint manufacturers have agreed to restrictions on lead in paint since 1991. If your home was built prior to that, as many homes in Toronto and Southern Ontario were, lead paint was probably applied to the interior surfaces. Even if the old plaster walls have been replaced with fresh new drywall, the window sills and door frames may still have a layer or two of lead hiding under the newer paint.
Understanding the danger of lead in your home and the various treatments options is important. The most recent studies from the scientific community indicate that any exposure to lead, even at very low levels, can have lasting detrimental effects on human health. Children are especially susceptible to the higher levels of lead absorption in the bloodstream, and have a greater likelihood of long-term health effects from lead exposure. Like most poisonous substances, there is no level that is considered safe in the home.