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Risks of asbestos and lead in your home
By: Rod Marsh,

Asbestos and Lead Awareness Certification Course – sounds like a fun way to spend Tuesday night, I thought. In the good company of a dozen other Bowen Island contractors we met at Collins hall to listen to Suzan Philippe of Hygienica Environmental Assessments Ltd.

What Suzan made obvious is that most home owners do not have the information they need about asbestos and lead materials in their homes. If you own a home built before 1990, you are personally responsible for knowing whether there are asbestos containing materials (ACM’s) or lead in your home. You must also disclose this information to any contractor you hire to work on your home. Homes built after 1990 are less likely to have asbestos or lead in them.

What’s more, contractors need to know about asbestos and lead containing materials to prevent worker exposure to hazardous materials and reduce the home owner’s liability risk. Worksafe BC www.worksafebc.com takes the safety of workers and building occupants seriously. Currently, rules for disturbing asbestos or lead containing materials are not always strictly enforced – simply because Worksafe BC does not inspect all residential worksites. If your renovation is inspected, Worksafe BC will issue fines and stop work orders wherever occupant safety is deemed to be at risk.

As a home owner, if you have any question about whether there may be ACM or lead in your home, you can start by visiting www.hiddenkiller.ca which is Worksafe BC’s public information site.

Education is a good first step, so kudos to the dozen local Bowen tradespeople who paid to attend and received an Asbestos & Lead Awareness Certificate.

Suzan Philippe operates her consulting business with 15 years experience in the hazardous building materials testing industry. www.hygienicae.com

Rod Marsh operates Quickway Paint & Drywall Inc. on Bowen Island and employs five local, professional painting and drywall tradespeople. www.quickway.ca

Quickway paints, stains and refinishes all types of residential, commercial and light industrial projects.
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