This program applies to all buildings and structures owned by Concordia University, to all employees and students of the University and to external organisations including contractors hired by the University who may come into contact with or disturb asbestos containing material in University buildings.
For more detailed information, questions or concerns please contact Environmental Health and Safety at 514-848-2424 ext. 4877 or email@example.com
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material found in rock and soil. Due to its fire-resistant qualities it was commonly used as a popular building material prior to the 1990’s but is no longer used today due to it’s known health implications.
What are the health risks?
Asbestos fibres only pose a risk to one’s health when they become airborne and are inhaled into the lungs. Once in the lungs, they cause a biochemical reaction in certain individuals, which may result in disease. Health risk increase with the amount of fibres inhaled and in most cases diseases have been associated with heavy exposure over many years.
Three specific diseases have been linked with exposure to asbestos:
• Asbestosis: A scaring of the lungs
• Lung cancer: Smoking can significantly increase this risk
• Mesothelioma: a cancer of the lining of the chest cavity
Am I at risk?
The presence of asbestos in a building does not necessarily constitute a health risk. Fibres only become hazardous when they are airborne. Fibres that are ingested or meet with skin are not harmful.
According to Health Canada, “There are no significant health risks if materials containing asbestos in your home are tightly bound in products and are in good condition, sealed behind walls and floorboards, are isolated in an attic and are left undisturbed.”
What should be done before undertaking work?
For everyone’s safety, anyone who has not undergone asbestos training as required by the Asbestos Management Program should refrain from:
• Shifting or moving ceiling tiles
• Drilling, hammering or scraping walls
• Pulling wires or fishing wires behind walls or above ceiling tiles
Please contact Facilities Management at extension 2400 for assistance.
As a proactive measure, asbestos-containing materials are systematically removed at Concordia as areas of asbestos containing buildings are renovated.
Please be aware that Concordia has strict procedures in place for the proper management of asbestos. Constructions zones that require asbestos abatement are professionally handled, sealed shut and personal protective equipment and special training is required when working inside.
During renovations you may see the following signage on doors entering into constructions zones. This signage is require by law at worksites where asbestos abatement is taking place.