Asbestos

Asbestos is the name for a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are durable and heat resistant. We have lived with it for thousands of years because it can be found naturally in the outdoor environment. It was widely used in most buildings (schools, hospitals, government buildings, homes, and apartments) built before 1985.

Nowadays, the use and management of asbestos are legislated to protect us from over-exposure.

  • Ottawa Community Housing has an Asbestos Management Program to deal with the ongoing handling of materials suspected to contain asbestos.
  • OCH follows legislated regulations that protect both workers and tenants.
  • All asbestos-related work is done by trained workers.
  • Asbestos is not dangerous when in good condition and if it is left undisturbed.
  • It is not necessary to remove material suspected to contain asbestos if it is in good condition.
  • You cannot see asbestos in material containing the fibre. Samples are taken and sent to a laboratory to confirm if it is present.

If building materials within your building have been sampled and confirmed to contain asbestos prior to you moving in, OCH will notify you at the lease signing.

If found during repairs and other maintenance activity, OCH will send you a notice to confirm the presence of asbestos in your home.

OCH manages and controls the risks associated with asbestos present in its buildings through its Asbestos Management Plan. The plan provides details of the location and condition of the asbestos if it is found in your building.

Follow these simple instructions, if you have been advised that your building contains or may contain asbestos:

YOU CAN…

  • hang picture frames with hand tools using nails or screws.
  • paint the walls if desired.

Call the 24h/7 days OCH Call Centre at 613-731-1182 (option 2) if material suspected to contain asbestos is damaged in your home.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

  • Asbestos is not hazardous if it is not damaged.
  • DO NOT disturb or damage material containing asbestos
  • DO NOT saw, sand, scrape or drill holes in materials containing asbestos such as in walls and ceilings.
  • DO NOT remove or cut vinyl flooring.
  • DO NOT apply adhesive-backed floor tiles to the existing floor.
  • DO NOT open any access panels or hatches in the walls or ceilings of your home.
  • DO NOT perform repairs to materials containing asbestos.
  • DO NOT dust, sweep or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos – notify the OCH Call Centre immediately.
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