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Inspection Technical Terms - Special Technical Terms for Property Inspection and Environmental Testing
Asbestos
Asbestos is a mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance. Asbestos may be found in attic insulation (vermiculite), heating/plumbing insulation, drywall joints, siding and flooring of the old timer property. The most presence of asbestos in a building is not hazardous. But damaged asbestos product may release asbestos fibers and become a health hazard.
Related Links:
Where can you find asbestos? Please go to this web:http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/essentials/building.htm
Health Canadahttp://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/alt_formats/pacrb-dgapcr/pdf/iyh-vsv/environ/asbestos-amiante-eng.pdf
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/yohoyohe/inaiqu/inaiqu_001.cfm
US Occupational Safety & Health Administrationhttp://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asbestos/index.html
US Environmental Protection Agencyhttp://www.epa.gov/iaq/asbestos.html
US National Library of Medicinehttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/asbestosasbestosis.html
Mesothelioma: US National Cancer Institute (NCI)http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/malignantmesothelioma
Mesothelioma Guidehttp://www.mesotheliomaguide.com/mesothelioma/causes/asbestos/
Asbestos Products and Manufacturershttp://www.asbestos.com/products
List of Asbestos Productshttp://www.asbestosclaims.org/asbestos-products.html
Asbestos Floor Tile Removalhttp://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/asbestos/floortile/index.html#photo1
http://richmondwatch.blogspot.com/2009/01/vermiculite-brand-name-zonolite.html
Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide may be found from any burning fuel and can lead to nausea, headaches, flu like symptoms and even death. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that can occur in homes and buildings where combustion by-products are generated and allowed to disperse. It is colorless, odorless, tasteless and it is an asphyxiant. As a poison, it is deadly at high levels. At low concentrations, CO can go undetected and contribute to nagging illnesses. It can compound pre-existing health problems and can go unblamed in premature deaths.
Related Links:
Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC)http://www.ulc.ca/consumer/Page.asp?Page_ID=947
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/yohoyohe/inaiqu/inaiqu_004.cfm
http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/yohoyohe/inaiqu/inaiqu_002.cfm
US National Library of Medicinehttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/carbonmonoxidepoisoning.html
BACHARACH CO Testerhttp://www.bacharach-training.com/
Indoor Air Quality
Most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can damage their health but many do not know that indoor air pollution can also have significant health effects. Environmental Protection Agency studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be 2-5 times, and occasionally more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels. These levels of indoor air pollutants may be of particular concern because most people spend about 90% of their time indoors.
Related Links:
Canada Mortage & Housing Corp (CMHC)http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/yohoyohe/inaiqu/
US Environmental Protection Agencyhttp://www.epa.gov/iaq/
US Federal Consumer Information Centerhttp://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/housing/indoorair-hazards/main.htm
US National Library of Medicinehttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/indoorairpollution.html
Lead Hazard Quality
Lead poisoning occurs when people eat or breathe unsafe amounts of lead. Primary pathways for lead poisoning are deteriorated paint and the contaminated dust and soil it generates. Lead-contaminated surface dust comes from lead-based paint that is deteriorating (chipping or peeling) and is created by friction or impact or disturbed during repainting or remodeling projects. Highly dangerous to humans, especially children, lead poisoning can result in reduced intelligence, behavioral problems, learning disabilities and permanent brain damage.
Related Links:
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/yohoyohe/inaiqu/inaiqu_007.cfm
US Environmental Protection Agencyhttp://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/moldresources.html
US National Library of Medicinehttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/molds.html
Radon
Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the soil. Exposure to radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking) in the United States. Radon is produced from the natural breakdown of the uranium found in most rocks and soils. As it further breaks down, radon emits atomic particles. These particles are in the air we breathe. Once inhaled, they can be deposited in our lungs. The energy associated with these particles can alter cell DNA, thus increasing the risk of lung cancer. Radon usually does not present a health risk outdoors because it is diluted in the open air. Radon can, however, build up to dangerous levels inside a house. Radon can enter your new house through cracks or openings in the foundation. The differences in air pressure between the inside of a building and the soil around it also play an important role in radon entry. If the air pressure of a house is greater than the soil beneath it, radon will remain outside. However, if the air pressure of a house is lower than the surrounding soil (which is usually the case), the house will act as a vacuum, sucking radon gas inside.
Related Links:
BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)http://www.bccdc.ca/healthenv/Contaminants/Radon/default.htm
BCCDC - Protocols for Radon Testing in BC Homeshttp://www.bccdc.ca/NR/rdonlyres/F8831809-0A56-409B-9551-16612D112005/0/RadoninHomesTestProtocoltApril07final.pdf
BCCDC - BC map of Main Floor Radon Concentrations and Terrestrial Background Radiationhttp://www.bccdc.ca/NR/rdonlyres/BF5D8504-9E9A-48BD-9003-6651F957B0EE/0/RadonTerrestrialMapsofBC2007.jpg
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safetyhttp://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_agents/radon.html
Health Canadahttp://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/iyh-vsv/environ/radon_e.html
US Environmental Protection Agencyhttp://www.epa.gov/iaq/radon/pubs/builder.html
National Radon Action Monthhttp://richmondwatch.blogspot.com/2010/01/national-radon-action-month.html
Termites
Like ants, wasps and bees, termites are social insects. Termites are the most destructive insect pests of wood which are spreading throughout the world. Termites are the kind of insects which will affect the housing, framing, roofing, fencing, posts, poles, signage, road guards, decks, sheds, and retaining walls that are constructed of wood.
Related Links:
Pest Control Canadahttp://www.pestcontrolcanada.com/termites.htm
University of Toronto, Faculty of Forestryhttp://www.utoronto.ca/forest/termite/termite.htm
Biology and control of subterrenean termites - NCSUhttp://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/termites/index.htm
Urea-Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde, a colorless, pungent-smelling gas, can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing in some humans exposed at elevated levels (above 0.1 parts per million). High concentrations may trigger attacks in people with asthma. There is evidence that some people can develop a sensitivity to formaldehyde. It has also been shown to cause cancer in animals and may cause cancer in humans. Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; fatigue; skin rash; severe allergic reactions. May cause cancer. May also cause other effects listed under "organic gases." EPA's Integrated Risk Information System profile. Pressed wood products (hardwood plywood wall paneling, particleboard, fiberboard) and furniture made with these pressed wood products. Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI). Combustion sources and environmental tobacco smoke. Durable press drapes, other textiles, and glues.
Related Links:
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/yohoyohe/inaiqu/inaiqu_008.cfm
US Environmental Protection Agencyhttp://www.epa.gov/iedweb00/formalde.html
More Health & Safety Information About Your House
Related Links:
Health Canadahttp://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/iyh/environment/index.html
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/index.cfm
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safetyhttp://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/
Electrical Safety Authority - Recall Noticeshttp://esasafe.com/Recalls.php
Electrical Safety Authority - Safety Alertshttp://esasafe.com/Safety_Alerts.php
Underwriters Laboratories of Canada - Safety Alertshttp://www.ulc.ca/regulators/safetyalerts.asp
US Federal Consumer Information Centerhttp://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/results.tpl?id1=17&startat=1&--woSECTIONSdatarq=17&--SECTIONSword=ww
US National Library of Medicinehttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/all_healthtopics.html
Cancer and the environmenthttp://www.cancer.ca/Canada-wide/Prevention/Cancer%20and%20the%20environment.aspx?sc_lang=en
More home safety & home related topicshttp://www.homeinsurance.org/
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