The Harmful Effects of Asbestos Water Pipes on Public Health

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Before the mid-1980s, construction firms used a lot of different materials that contained asbestos. At that time, it made perfect sense. After all, asbestos is great for insulation, and it offers outstanding fire-retardant properties. Today, everyone knows about the dangers of this material, which explains the high demand for asbestos removal services.

One concern is that some of the pipes supply drinking water to homes in both Canada and the US. Millions of people assume the water they drink is clean and safe. For some of them, water reaches them via an asbestos cement water main. The response for many individuals who learn about this is to contact one of the best asbestos removal companies.

Does an Asbestos Cement Water Main Post Risk?

The answer is that it could. The reason, these cement pipes that supply homes with water contain asbestos fibres. That’s bad enough, but even worse, recent studies show that many of these water systems show a significant risk of corroding. If the pipes deteriorate or fail, it’ll expose people to an even greater level of asbestos.

Dating back to the early 1970s and continuing today, agencies in the United States test water main pipes. In Canada, citizens depend on government agencies to perform asbestos testing in the GTA.

Specific Risks to Water

In Canada the National Research Council (NRC) studied asbestos cement pipes. This organization’s goal is to monitor and document the asbestos level in the water and make appropriate changes before something catastrophic happens. Ultimately, the NRC plays a vital role in asbestos testing in the GTA.

The reporting done by NRC mentions drinking water as a health concern. One study stated that drinking water that travels through these pipes could cause malignant tumours to grow inside the gastrointestinal tracts and other organs.

Health Canada maintains there are no health concerns associated with drinking asbestos. “There is no consistent, convincing evidence that ingested asbestos is hazardous. There is, therefore, no need to establish a maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) for asbestos in drinking water,” according to the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality: Guideline Technical Document.

Unfortunately, asbestos removal companies can only do so much. Yes, people can use their services to have some pipes and other asbestos-containing materials in their homes removed. However, for asbestos cement pipes used in main water systems, that’s something the government needs to correct.

Even with recent studies focusing on the long-term health effects of ingesting water that travels through these pipes, people haven’t seen any action other than asbestos testing in the GTA.

We’re Here to Help

At least for your home, our experts at Air Doctors Inc. can help. We offer full-scale asbestos removal services. That includes testing suspect material, removing it from your property, and then disposing it according to current Canadian laws. Call us today for additional information.