Hazmat Disposal Services
Arsenic is a metal that is sometimes used in pesticides. It is also found in pressure treated wood products. Exposures can occur when arsenic containing materials are disturbed and dust becomes airborne. Sawdust from cutting pressure treated wood or burning these materials can result in significant airborne arsenic concentrations. Disposal of arsenic waste must be in accordance with current Ministry of Environment requirements.
Radioactive materials are commonly found in smoke detectors. A small amount of radioactive materials (241Americium) is sealed in a metal case inside smoke detectors. This metal case must remain undisturbed to prevent exposure to radioactive materials.
Some ceramic tiles and forms of granite have also been found to contain radioactive materials. Radon is a naturally occurring gas created during the decay of other radioactive materials. It is not considered a significant concern on Lower Vancouver Island.
Waste smoke detectors must be disposed of in accordance with Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission requirements.
Silica is one of the most common element on earth. It is found almost everywhere. It appears in two (2) main forms - amorphous and crystalline. Amorphous silica is not generally considered to be a significant hazard. Crystalline silica is known to have a number of health effects including silicosis. Crystalline silica becomes a hazard when it is disturbed and airborne dust is created. Caution must be taken to ensure that silica containing materials are not disturbed. Crystalline silica is present in a number of common building materials. These include:
WorkSafeBC has designated crystalline silica as an ALARA substance. This means that exposures to this material must be kept “as low as reasonably achievable”. Section 5.54 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation states that employers are required to develop and implement an exposure control plan when workers may be exposed to airborne concentrations of crystalline silica greater than 50% of the exposure limit.
Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation
Urea formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) was used as a retrofit insulation in older buildings. The expanding foam would be sprayed into wall and ceiling cavities to provide additional insulation in older buildings. It was most commonly used in residential settings. Over time, in the presence of moisture, the insulation can break down and release formaldehyde gas. This insulating material was banned in 1978. Many older buildings contain UFFI. There are no special disposal requirements for UFFI waste.
Fuel Oil Storage Tanks
Fuel oil storage tanks (above and below ground) are found in many houses and commercial buildings. The tanks can corrode and leak as they age. Spills often occur during tank filling and create contamination. Tanks in use must be monitored to ensure that spillage and contamination does not occur. Tanks no longer in use must be removed for disposal and the surrounding soil checked for contamination.
The BC Ministry of Environment regulates the disposal of some waste materials based on the leachability of metals and other compounds from the waste. Testing may have to be carried out on materials removed from the building before they can be sent for disposal. This will depend on where the waste is being sent.
A number of hazardous materials may be present in a building that will be affected by renovations or demolition. These can include:
- Propane or butane cylinders
- Toxic or corrosive products
- Other flammable materials
Vincent Moriarity owner operator of South Island Remediation has been remediating these contaminates in the Victoria area since 1999.