WorkSafeBC warning homeowners about the dangers of asbestos

WorkSafeBC is urging owners of pre-1990s homes to talk to their contractor about asbestos.

WorkSafeBC is urging owners of pre-1990s homes to talk to their contractor about asbestos before starting home renovations or a demolition.

“Asbestos is safe if left alone, but if disturbed it can cause serious health problems and even death,” said Al Johnson, Vice-President of Prevention Services for WorkSafeBC. “Today, the most common way to be exposed to asbestos is by unsafe practices during demolition and renovation of homes and buildings.”

Asbestos can be found in more than 3,000 different building materials used in homes built before 1990. It’s colourless, odourless and deadly when disturbed.

“Over the past decades, the dangers of asbestos exposure have become alarmingly evident, and I commend WorkSafeBC for continuing to raise awareness of this danger — not only in the workplace but in our homes as well,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “WorkSafeBC is part of a provincial working group, led by the Ministry of Labour, which is currently reviewing what can be done to better protect people and the environment from asbestos.”

Contractors are responsible for protecting their workers from asbestos exposure, and homeowners planning to renovate or demolish their home have a responsibility too.

“If renovating or demolishing a pre-1990s home, talk to your contractor and budget for asbestos testing and removal,” said Johnson. “Identifying and removing asbestos may cost more in the short term, but it is the right thing to do and will ensure the health and safety of everyone living or working on the property.”

Asbestos is the number-one killer of workers in B.C. and the rate of asbestos-related disease is on the rise. That’s why WorkSafeBC is launching an awareness campaign this month targeted to owners of pre-1990 homes. This campaign follows and builds on an asbestos awareness initiative targeted to contractors this past summer. More information can be found at: www.thinkasbestos.com.

Key Facts:

Asbestos is a naturally occurring material that was used in more than 3,000 building materials from the 1950s to the 1990s. Some common asbestos-containing materials include:

* Vinyl tiles and linoleum sheet flooring

* Roof felt and shingles

* Loose, blown-in insulation, such as vermiculite

* Stucco

* Pipe insulation

* Gypsum board filling compound, and patching and joint compound for walls and ceilings

* Incandescent light fixture backing

* Deck undersheeting

From 2007 to 2016, 605 workers died in B.C. from diseases related to asbestos exposure.

In 2016 alone, 85 work-related deaths resulted from an occupational disease.

Just Posted

Rossland council agrees to finish skateboard park

Will cost taxpayers about $30,000 to complete project

Core funding to boost spending on tourism services for Rossland

Resort Municipalities grants will pay for a public washroom, better signage, and shuttle services

Passenger counts still rising at West Kootenay Regional Airport

Reliability rates also on rise in second quarter.

Third cannabis store in Greater Trail opens next week

The City of Trail has had six applications from non-medical pot retailers to date

Last stop: The inside story of Queen City Shuttle and Charters’ closure

Former employees open up about the Nelson company’s final days

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read