Managing Asbestos in City Buildings
In accordance with all legislated health and safety regulations, the City of Edmonton has an active asbestos management plan. This ensures a safe environment at all City facilities.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in rock formations that can be separated into flexible fibres. Asbestos was commonly used in building materials for most of the 20th century because of its resistance to heat and corrosion, good thermal and electrical insulation properties, noise dampening properties, and strength and flexibility.
By the late 1800s, asbestos was being used widely for roofing, pipe coverings, insulation and textiles. However in 1987, after thorough research, the World Health Organization declared asbestos to be a human carcinogen. In 2018, the Government of Canada will ban all asbestos and asbestos-containing products.
Where can asbestos be found?
Asbestos is usually mixed with other materials. It is typically found in pipe wrap, duct wrap, floor and ceiling tiles, elbow insulation, drywall joint compounds, sprayed fireproofing, brake linings and clutch pedals, cementing compounds used in plumbing, sprayed insulation, fire doors, plaster, and many other products.
Asbestos is harmless if contained but becomes a health hazard when the fibres are disturbed and become airborne. This means asbestos poses health risks only when fibres are present in the air and people breath them into their lungs. Fibres can be released into the air when products containing asbestos break down or are disturbed by drilling, cutting, grinding, buffing, etc.
Effects of Asbestos
When products containing asbestos are disturbed and the fibres are inhaled, asbestos can affect the body. The three diseases commonly linked with inhaling asbestos fibres are asbestosis, which is scarring on the lung tissue that causes difficulty in breathing, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
City of Edmonton Facilities Containing Asbestos
Unless they have been properly assessed and confirmed to not contain asbestos, all buildings built before 1990 are considered by the City of Edmonton to contain asbestos.
A list of City of Edmonton facilities containing asbestos is available below. The list is modeled after the Federal Government's National Inventory of Asbestos in Public Services and Procurement Canada Buildings.
List of City of Edmonton Facilities Containing Asbestos
List of City-owned buildings, their addresses and if there is a known presence of asbestos.
*Buildings deemed confidential in nature are not included.
For more information, please refer to:
The Government of Canada: Health Risks of Asbestos website
The Government of Canada protects Canadians from asbestos exposure by regulating:
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).
CCOHS is Canada's national resource for the advancement of workplace health and safety.