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Asbestos Removal from Ottawa Federal Buildings Goes Undocumented

EMSL Analytical has 30 locations in Canada and the U.S. to serve our clients locally.


According to a list recently compiled by the Public Works and Government Services Canada, the Canadian federal government owns 318 building that are known to contain asbestos. Yet despite this high number, the government has not been actively tracking projects to remove asbestos from these buildings.

This list is not comprehensive and does not contain any buildings which are owned by departments outside of Public Works, including many used to house foreign diplomats living in Canada.

The Canadian government claims it has not recorded asbestos removal projects because the asbestos is only removed when buildings undergo maintenance or renovations, which result in “unavoidable disturbance” of the substance.

In recent years, the Canadian government has spent millions of dollars removing asbestos from various buildings, and yet still does not have any “national inventory of buildings containing hazardous material in Canada,” according to the Public Works department.

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, was commonly used in construction and manufacturing between 1935 and the 1970s, before the full extent of its damaging health effects were understood.

Asbestos becomes dangerous after building materials begin to break down, and the asbestos fibers become airborne. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to the development of respiratory cancers, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Symptoms may take up to fifty years to present themselves after the initial exposure to asbestos fibers.

Canada has been and continues to be one of the largest producers and exporters of asbestos in the world.

“EMSL laboratories have been performing analysis on suspected asbestos presence since 1981,” says Ed Cahill, Vice President of EMSL’s Asbestos Division. “Each of our 30 locations in Canada and the United States is equipped and accredited to test for the presence of asbestos in the air, soil, water, or bulk building materials.”

For more information regarding EMSL’s asbestos services, please call 800-220-3675 or visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a full service testing company providing quality lab services under the same private ownership since 1981. Including the corporate lab facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, EMSL Analytical operates over thirty laboratories nationwide in the US and Canada. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


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