Hazardous Material Remediation in Airdrie

HazPro - Workers in hazmat suits taking off the siding from a house

Hazardous waste is defined as having harmful impacts on humans and animals that are exposed to them. They may be flammable, reactive, corrosive or toxic and as a result must be disposed of as indicated by the laws in your province. In order to determine whether a substance is hazardous, your representative may collect samples for lab testing.

Examples of Hazardous Materials

Corrosive Material – damages the surfaces that it comes into contact with like wood or skin. These may include rust removing chemicals or battery acid.

Flammable – these substances make fumes that can be ignited. Solvents and degreasers fall within this category.

Reactive or Explosive – these materials are under pressure and can explode under heat or pressure. They may also produce extreme reactions when mixed with other substances.

Toxic or Poisonous – any interaction with these is a danger to your health.

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Hazardous Waste Examples

Our waste removal professionals are experienced in both the removal and disposal of these materials and the regulations that govern it. The health and safety of occupants as well as workers is always maintained throughout the abatement process. Common hazards we encounter are:

PCBs

PCBs refer to man-made chemicals that are composed of the atoms of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine. It has the consistency of either oil or wax and was used enthusiastically for so many applications when it became available. It had applications in the electrical, hydraulic and plastics industries and could often be found in clothing due to its presence in some of the dyes. The substance does not produce an odour and it is also tasteless, making it more difficult for home and business owners to find. Houses built in the 1980s did not use PCBs for electrical insulation as had been done in the 1970s, since the chemical was labelled hazardous and banned from use. The effects of exposure to PCBs can vary from mild to severe, and exposure has been linked to cancer, nervous system problems, endocrine and immune system problems etc.

Mercury

Mercury was previously handled by school children in the 1950s as part of science class. Now, we understand the high level of toxicity in mercury and the concerns surrounding it. Mercury has since been taken out of circulation as an ingredient, but some homes may still have products (like old thermostats) that haven’t been updated to the new standard. Although mercury is usually found in small amounts, it is toxic enough to do serious damage to humans and animals. For example, as little as one gram of mercury is enough to contaminate twenty acres of water and when this occurs it begins to accumulate in the fish. But it doesn’t stop there. Mercury is non-degradable, so it travels up the food chain to the birds of prey and larger and larger fish. Marine mammals contain the most mercury since they ingest a compounded amount of mercury in the fish they consume. Mercury is a neurotoxin and is known to cause birth defects and nerve damage in humans.

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Feces Due to Infestation

If you’ve found animal feces in your home, it’s likely that you have more than one bat, rat, or mouse living with you. A pest control company will help you bait, trap and seal off any potential entries into your home using materials like steel or copper wool. Once your pest control company tells you that your problem is under control and that you no longer have undesirable roommates, you might breathe a sigh of relief before realising that the accumulation of feces and urine in your attic, walls or crawlspace is significant.

When we receive your call for waste removal, we will recommend that you not touch the waste and not breathe the air around it. If there is a heavy amount of feces in the attic, close access to the area until a member of our team can assess the situation. Rat feces, for example, can carry with it serious viruses that are transmissible to humans like hantavirus, renal syndrome, or leptospirosis if the environment was wet. Although these diseases are uncommon to contract, the symptoms they bring are severe and sometimes fatal. Our professionals will remove the waste from the area and disinfect it to prevent any further growth of potential viruses and bacterium.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a natural fibre that was regularly used in the construction of home and buildings until the 1970s, when regulations prevented their use. Unlike some hazardous materials, asbestos is still found in some homes and buildings because it is not dangerous when it is undisturbed. When renovating a home, however, banging and opening ceiling tiles etc. are likely to disturb the asbestos. Once disturbed, the fibers enter the air and are breathed into the lungs where they can cause serious lung disease and other health problems.

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