Asbestos Law in British Columbia: What Homeowners Need to Know
Many Canadians may face the challenge of knowing that asbestos was commonly used in constructing their homes and workplaces before safety regulations and laws were enacted. As a homeowner, you may want to remove the asbestos from your home; however, this is not a DIY task. Asbestos testing and removal require training and knowledge of the law.
Risk of Exposure to Asbestos
Asbestos health issues are now widely known. However, the risks were yet to be known when asbestos was commonly used in home construction.
What researchers know now is that the asbestos fibres break down over time. These fibres, when inhaled, pose serious health risks. For this reason, the laws are strict for the testing and eventual removal of asbestos and the training for those doing the work.
Simple home renovations like sanding, scraping, smoothing rough edges, drilling into walls, or removing surfaces cause the release of these fibres. Asbestos is commonly found in:
- Vinyl asbestos floor tiles
- Roofing shingles
- Ceiling tiles
- Surface treatments like paint, caulk, drywall, and spackling
The risks associated with asbestos fibres in the air include asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Hiring an asbestos testing company to check before disturbing the materials is essential.
New Training, Certification, and Licensing in British Columbia
British Columbia has recently updated its training, certification, and licensing requirements to safely handle asbestos.
Any asbestos abatement company working in British Columbia must be licensed in British Columbia. They must also have all workers complete mandatory safety training and obtain certificates for asbestos removal.
The government of British Columbia made these changes to the Workers Compensation Act. The goal was to enhance safety for workers and their work environments. This is comprehensive training for all workers. The work of asbestos abatement includes assessing, removing, repairing, transporting, and disposing of materials.
Reduce Your Risk of Exposure
Training for workers, plus licensing and certification, are critical steps to reduce the risk of asbestos exposure.
When a homeowner suspects asbestos, it's wise to hire professionals who can come into the home and safely secure a sample for testing before any work, such as renovations or demolition, begins. Licensed professionals can test and analyze samples to see if it indeed contains asbestos.
Know the Asbestos Law in BC – Trust BC Hazmat with Your Testing Needs!
Asbestos Law in BC improved in 2022 to make testing and removal of asbestos safer for all involved. This includes licensing for a business and extensive training for anyone doing asbestos removal work.
Contact BC Hazmat if you need asbestos testing, mould testing or hazmat inspections. We're licensed and trained to handle your request.