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Frequently Asked Questions regarding Microbial Contamination

Is black mould toxic?

There are about 20 different types of mould we test for. They vary in colours and toxicity. Each mould has a potential to be toxic, but needs to be tested to confirm the degree of toxicity.

Do I have to move out of my home if I find visible mould?

After testing and identification of the microbial contamination present in the dwelling a scope of work can be developed to assist in the removal of the mould without jeopardizing the health of the occupants.

Does Anena do mould removal?

No. We are an independent testing agency. We have an extensive network of contacts that we can refer you to.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding ASBESTOS

1. How do asbestos fibers get introduced into our bodies?

Asbestos fibers cannot be absorbed through the skin or even through the circulatory system via cuts or scrapes. The only way to ingest asbestos fibers is through the respiratory system via deep inhalation.

Larger asbestos fibers, when in inhaled, lodge in the nose and throat, as far down as the larynx.
Medium sized asbestos fibers, when inhaled, are trapped in the tracheal region.
Smaller particles, when inhaled, penetrate down to the respiratory bronchioles and air sacs, where they do the most damage.

2. What diseases can asbestos exposure cause?

There are 3 diseases that can be attributed to exposure to asbestos:

1. Asbestosis
Asbestosis is an irreversible, fatal disease. The lungs are stiffened by a build up of scar tissue, resulting from the attempts of macrophages to remove asbestos fibres from the lungs. Macrophages surround and break down foreign particles and keep the air sacs of the lungs clear. This means that the macrophages will try and get rid of the asbestos fibers that get trapped in the lung tissue. They spill their enzymes onto the lung tissue, thinking they are repairing the damage, however this results in scarring. The fibers will remain in the deepest areas of the lungs, resulting in continuous scarring.

2. Lung Cancer
Asbestos fibers trapped in the lung tissue can trigger cancerous growth in the lungs. In most cases, cancer from asbestos exposure does not develop until 20 or more years after first exposure. Lung cancer represents 5-15% of asbestos lung problems. Asbestos exposure for individuals who smoke, will increase their risk of getting lung cancer by as much as 70%. Each and every one of us have hundreds of cilia on each epithelial cell of our bronchial walls that remove fibers, microbes and debris from our lungs. One puff of a cigarette can paralyze these cilia for periods ranging from 20-40 minutes, resulting in easier passage for asbestos fibers into our lungs.

3. Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma, is also a type of lung cancer. Mesothelioma is cancer of the lining of the lung or chest/abdominal walls. 85% of people with mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos. Length of exposure to asbestos in patients with mesothelioma ranges from 2 – 50 years. The period between exposure and disease onset ranges from 15 – 55 years with the average of 40 years before disease development. It is a fairly rare disease, however, once diagnosed it is always fatal, resulting in death within a few months of diagnosis.

3. Do I need to remove everything containing asbestos?

The only case in which all asbestos containing material must be removed from a residential, commercial or industrial property is when it is to be demolished. The owner of the structure, upon applying for a demolition permit from the city must sign off on a document declaring there is no asbestos within the structure in question. This means they must take all due diligence to ensure testing and abatement are done properly prior to demolition. If neglected, the owner, will be held liable for exposing everyone, not only workers on site, but the public, and will be responsible for all cleanup, including environmental repercussions, and subject to fines and possibly even jail time.

As for renovations, only the asbestos containing materials that will be disturbed during renovations must be removed. They may also be enclosed or encapsulated as long as they are not being disturbed. If asbestos containing materials are thought to be discovered during a renovation, all work must be stopped and the area of work cleared. The material(s) must then be tested and if it is found the material does in fact contain asbestos, abatement of the material must be completed before the original job or scope of work can continue.