Comox Strathcona Waste Management Service

 

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ASBESTOS

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that was used extensively in the construction industry from the 1950s to the 1990s because of its high strength and resistance to heat, fire and chemical damage. It is found in over 3000 products including spray applied fireproofing, mechanical insulation, vermiculite, linoleum, floor tiles, drywall taping compound and a variety of other materials. Because it's found in so many common building products, it can be a danger hiding in plain sight in many homes.

When asbestos is disturbed during a demo or reno, it becomes a danger to everyone working on your property. Inhalation of asbestos contaminated air is a major health risk and can lead to serious and chronic health problems such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural thickening. From 2006 to 2015, 584 workers died in B.C. from diseases related to asbestos exposure, and more than 400 workers reported being exposed to asbestos in 2015.

How is Asbestos Detected?

Asbestos detection is very difficult unless the material is labeled and positive identification can only be confirmed or denied by way of laboratory analysis using a microscope. As a result, consultation with a professional is always recommended. Several Vancouver Island based businesses offer testing and / or abatement services. A non-comprehensive list is presented at the bottom of this page.

Before Commencement of Construction and / or Renovation Work

You can prevent asbestos exposure by knowing if your property is at risk for asbestos and making sure that asbestos-containing materials are properly identified and removed before anyone starts work on your reno or demo.

The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation contains legal requirements that must be met by all workplaces under the jurisdiction of WorkSafeBC.  Part 20.112 of this regulation requires that all hazardous materials found to be in the way of planned work, including asbestos, be identified prior to the commencement of construction and / or renovation work. These hazardous materials must be either safely contained or removed by a qualified contractor employing WorkSafeBC approved procedures. See information regarding Part 20.112 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

CVRD Hazardous Materials Declaration

Within the CVRD, a Hazardous Materials Declaration form must be completed and submitted in conjunction with an application for a Building Permit where the proposed works include alterations or renovations within an existing structure or the demolition of a structure. See the declaration document.

Disposing of Asbestos and ACM within the CSWM

At the present time, asbestos and ACM are not accepted for disposal at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre or the Campbell River Waste Management Centre. All residents and commercial haulers from the CSWM service area with asbestos and ACM for disposal must transport the material to the Victoria Hartland landfill. See the Victoria Hartland landfill’s web page for important information regarding asbestos and asbestos disposal.

Asbestos disposal bags meeting these standards are available for purchase at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre and the Campbell River Waste Management Centre at a cost of $2 per bag ( $2.25 including tax each).

Should you wish to purchase one of these bags, please familiarize yourself with the asbestos safety brochure and information sheet that will be provided to you at the time of purchase.

Asbestos is a health hazard and if you are unsure if a material contains asbestos, it is best to contact your contractor or a local laboratory who can conduct a test to confirm (a list of labs is provided below). In general, houses constructed before 1990 likely contain asbestos. For examples of materials that contain asbestos, visit WorkSafe BC's website.

For more information on asbestos transport and containment requirements, visit the Ministry of Environment's (MoE) links:

For information on the health risks associated with this material, visit:

ASBESTOS ANALYSIS LABS (to confirm presence or absence)

ASBESTOS DISPOSAL

ASBESTOS ABATEMENT AND REMOVAL COMPANIES