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Building code first introduced restrictions on the use of asbestos in buildings in 1977.

Asbestos was so widely used because of its many useful properties:

  • Resists burning even at high temperatures
  • Has great tensile strength
  • Acoustic dampner
  • Resists corrosion by chemicals
  • Resists biological growth (in its pure form)
  • Insulates against the conduction of electricity
  • Is very flexible

Where would I look for asbestos containing materials?

Asbestos was pretty much used everywhere in the old days. With saying this, depending on the year your structure of concern was built, asbestos could be found in:

  • Building Exteriors
  • Flooring
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Service areas – mechanical or boiler rooms
  • Structural – such as fireproofing on beams
  • Pipes

Types of Asbestos

Asbestos is broken down into two classifications:

Fibrous Serpentine

This classification of asbestos includes the asbestos mineral Chrysotile.

Chrysotile asbestos is white in colour and has long wavy flexible fibers. Canada was the world’s largest producer of this type of asbestos. Chrysotile accounts for about 90% of the world’s production and consumption. It is also hydrophilic, which means it is water loving.

Fibrous Amphibole

This classification of asbestos includes the asbestos minerals, Actinolite, Amosite, Anthrophyllite, Crocidolite, and Tremolite.

Amphibole asbestos ranges in colour. The two main minerals to watch for in the amphibole family are Amosite and Crocidolite. Amosite is brown in colour with crocidolitebeing blue. Both minerals have similar characteristics, the fibers are brittle, rigid and rod like, both were commercially mined and both are hydrophobic, which means they are water hating.


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