What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a set of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are found in rock formations around the world. The asbestos ore had been mined for its useful properties: thermal insulation, chemical and thermal stability, and high tensile strength. However, it was discovered in the 20th Century that inhaled asbestos fibres can aggravate lung tissues, causing them to scar and can lead to several cancers.
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Materials containing asbestos were commonly used in the construction industry from the early 1930s through to today. Asbestos is no longer mined in Canada, non-friable building and other products can and are still manufactured today. An example is concrete “transite” pipe used in many buildings. Asbestos has been listed as being present in over 3,000 products that are present in most buildings and homes throughout North America. The friable form of asbestos products has been prohibited in Ontario since 1986. As a result of later-identified health concerns, asbestos can now be safely removed as required, following strict guidelines and regulated protocols.