DIY Demolition Challenges: How to Safely Remove Toxic Materials from Your Property

Whenever you plan a renovation project for a home or business in the greater Toronto area, it helps to ensure the proper steps are taken to make the transformation as safe as possible.

Demolition services are often required to remove toxic and dangerous materials from the property. Depending on the structure’s age and builder, removing items blindly might not be safe.

It is better to avoid guessing and trust the demolition experts in your community. In return, you know the job will be done right the first time, and any hazardous materials will be appropriately disposed of during this process.

What Materials Could Be in the Building?

Old commercial buildings, and even some homes, might contain various toxic materials depending on their age, construction methods, and previous uses. Here are some common examples.

1. Asbestos

This toxic material is one of the world’s most well-known dangerous items that can be found in older buildings. It was often used for fireproofing, insulation, and creating several construction materials until its health risks were recognized. People who inhale asbestos fibers can develop severe respiratory diseases, including mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Some properties might require asbestos testing before any demolition work can proceed. Vermiculite insulation is also known to contain possible asbestos risks.

2. Lead Paint

Any buildings constructed before the 1970s might have lead-based paint on the interior or exterior walls. It is highly toxic, especially to children, and is known to cause developmental issues and neurological problems if inhaled or ingested.

3. Mercury

Old buildings might have mercury-containing devices like thermostats, fluorescent light bulbs, or switches. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can cause severe health problems when inhaled or ingested.

4. Polychlorinated Biphenyls

PCBs were commonly used in electrical equipment, such as transformers and capacitors, until they were banned. This toxic and dangerous material is a known carcinogen. It can cause several adverse health effects that cause problems to a person’s reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems.

5. Formaldehyde

This substance is considered a volatile organic compound (VOC). It is found in some older homes and businesses because it was used in pressed wood products. A few adhesives and insulation products also contain it. People exposed to it can experience eye, nose, throat irritation, respiratory issues, and allergic reactions.

6. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

PAHs are toxic chemics found in some buildings where heavy industrial pollution exists, or coal tar-based sealants were used. These hydrocarbons are known carcinogens and can cause several other health issues.

7. Radon

This toxic and dangerous radioactive gas can be potentially found in any building. It enters through cracks in the foundation. Prolonged exposure to high levels of it can increase a person’s chances of developing lung cancer.

8. Silica

Silica dust is a common toxic substance found on many demolition job sites. It can settle in the lungs if released into the air without preventative measures. Anyone who cuts, crushes, breaks, grinds, or drills into concrete can be exposed to it.

9. Phthalates

You can find this toxic chemical in carpet backing, wall coverings, upholstery textiles, waterproofing membranes, and numerous other materials.

If you’re concerned that your property contains toxic and dangerous materials, connecting with a trusted local demolition company is crucial. At We-Haul Disposal Services, we offer the information you need on potential hazards while providing appropriate services to help you remove them safely.


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