Understanding Designated Substances: Your Comprehensive FAQ Guide

Welcome to our informative FAQ guide on designated substances. At Peritus Environmental Consultants, we’re committed to helping you navigate the intricate world of environmental concerns. In this article, we’ll shed light on designated substances, their potential risks, and their presence in building materials. We aim to empower you with knowledge to make informed decisions about your property’s safety and the health of its occupants.

What Are Designated Substances?

Designated substances are materials historically used in construction that can pose risks to health. In Ontario, regulated designated substances include asbestos, silica, lead, and mercury. The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) also identifies other hazardous materials falling under this category. It’s essential to be aware of these substances, as they could be present in your property.

What Building Materials Can Contain Designated Substances?

Designated substances were commonly integrated into a wide range of building materials before the 1990s. Some of these materials include ceiling tiles, vinyl floor tiles, insulation, and even thermostats. While the use of certain designated substances like asbestos was phased out, traces might still linger in specific building products. If you’re unsure about the presence of designated substances in a material, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for clarification.

Why Should I Be Concerned About Designated Substances?

Designated substances might remain harmless when undisturbed. However, they can become problematic when they deteriorate, releasing particles into the air and potentially endangering the health of occupants. This concern becomes even more critical if you’re planning renovations or demolition, as these activities can disturb the substances and lead to health risks.

What’s the Concern with Asbestos?

Asbestos, known for its heat and fire resistance, was prevalent in building materials before the 1990s. However, its fibrous nature poses health risks upon inhalation, leading to lung issues like mesothelioma. The presence of asbestos warrants assessment.

What About Lead, Mercury, and Silica?

Lead, found in paints and plumbing materials until the late 1970s, and mercury, present in electrical equipment, carry heavy metal poisoning risks. Silica, common in concrete and masonry, becomes hazardous when airborne as dust. Prolonged exposure can lead to severe health conditions.

How Can a Designated Substance Survey Help?

A designated substance survey serves as a proactive measure to protect the health and safety of individuals within a building. This survey can identify the presence of designated substances, allowing you to manage their condition properly. By understanding what substances are present, you can implement the necessary safety measures during renovations or any construction activities.

Can Designated Substances Impact Future Renovations?

Absolutely. Identifying designated substances in your property is crucial for planning future renovations. Once these substances are identified, you can manage their condition and ensure they are not disturbed without the proper safety precautions. If left unidentified, designated substances could deteriorate and potentially lead to adverse health effects.

How Can Peritus Environmental Consultants Assist?

At Peritus, we offer a range of services designed to identify, classify, and manage designated substances within your property. Our team conducts thorough Designated Substance Surveys, Asbestos Surveys, Designated Substance Management Plans, and Asbestos Management Plans. Our approach includes site visits, laboratory testing, and detailed reports with actionable recommendations.

What Sets Your Surveys Apart?

We conduct our surveys in strict compliance with local and federal legislation to create a comprehensive and safe evaluation. With years of experience in identifying designated substances, our skilled team is well-equipped to handle any questions or concerns you may have throughout the process.

Ready to Learn More?

Understanding designated substances is fundamental to making informed decisions about your property. If you have any questions or need further clarification on any aspect of designated substances, feel free to reach out to us. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the knowledge you need to create a safe and secure environment for your property and its occupants.