//Indor Air Quality
Indor Air Quality2019-06-21T11:27:44+00:00

Indor Air Quality

Asbestos

Asbestos refers to several types of fibrous minerals derived from certain rock formations. With mechanical and flame retardant properties, asbestos fibers have been widely used in building materials for decades. Overall, the main materials likely to contain asbestos (MLCA) that can be identified in a building are rigid panels made of asbestos cement, cementitious materials (plaster on the ceilings and on the walls), acoustic tiles (ceiling), thermal insulation (pipe overlap), spray material (flocking) and commercial vinyl tile (flooring). Asbestos can be dangerous to the health of the occupants as the fibers are present or released into the air and are inhaled.

According to the law adopted on 24 April 1980 on hazardous materials, the use of asbestos is prohibited as a component in most consumer goods since it is considered dangerous for health. Thus, for buildings built before 1980, the probability of finding MSCA is greater. CNESST regulates the use of asbestos in the workplace.

Environnement PH Inc. offers services in the characterization of materials containing asbestos (MCA). This sampling work will allow for laboratory tests that will establish the asbestos concentration and methodology for asbestos removal work, if applicable. The handling of MCA during renovation or demolition work is governed by section 3.23 of the Safety Code for the construction industry and the Regulation concerning occupational health and safety. Characteristics such as the type of asbestos present, the friability and the volume of material produced by renovation or demolition works are to be considered in the safety measures that need be applied.

Mold

Mold is derived from fungal microorganisms. This group of organisms similarly includes fungi and yeasts. The molds grow under certain favorable conditions including the presence of moisture and a nutrient which must be of organic type. Moisture can result from several problems, including water entering a building or inadequate ventilation. The nutritive material may consist of several substances including: plant material, wallpaper, adhesives, cardboard tiles for suspended ceilings, or any material that easily absorbs water.

Of a general nature, molds can be identified by the presence of discoloration spots (black, green, gray and white), musty or earthy odors. In addition, they can also be found in non-visible places, ex. inside walls or ventilation ducts. Depending on the type of mold present, the exposure time and the condition of the occupants, mold can lead to health problems (eg.: allergies and respiratory diseases) in addition to structural problems within the building. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), many groups of people are at risk for developing health problems. These groups include pregnant women, young children and the elderly, as well as those who already have health problems such as respiratory problems or a weakened immune system. Thus, these people are at higher risk when they are exposed to mold.

Since molds require a lot of moisture to grow, it is important to control the relative humidity inside a building. In this regard, CMHC recommends that the relative humidity of a room be kept below 50%. In the event of a source of moisture from outside (eg.: water seepage or condensation), the exterior walls of the building must be repaired to maintain adequate ventilation.

It should be noted that, according to CMHC, mold on small surfaces (eg.: window sills) does not pose a serious problem. In the event that there are large impacted areas (eg.: plasterboard), it is recommended that Environment PH be contacted for the services related to mold sampling and air testing of your building.

Air quality testing

Are you preparing to work on materials containing asbestos?

The Regulation respecting occupational health and safety and the Safety Code for the construction industry impose control measures that guarantees the best possible protection for your workers.

Our approach is as follows:

The first step is the development of the sampling protocol. By determining your regulatory obligations and your expectations, our team of experts will advise you on a sampling protocol that will allow you to reduce your operating costs, while optimizing the number of samples and respecting the applicable regulations.

The second step involves collecting the air samples. After planning the interventions and depending on the protocol adopted, our qualified and experienced staff will carry out on the site the measures essential to the operation of your asbestos removal, such as measures on the operators or containment liberation measures. The use of equipment and methods recommended by the IRSST will enable us to provide you with the results of an analysis in due time and directly on site.

Our responsiveness and expertise allows us to offer solutions tailored to your needs to ensure the best protection for your employees while warranting the smooth running of your asbestos removal work.

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