This Asbestos Management Plan (AMP) was developed to ensure that Society’s are compliance with Worksafe BC regulations and to ensure safely for tenants, staff and contractors. The AMP is maintained and applicable for all the Society’s to manage properties. This AMP must address not only the effects that asbestos containing materials will have on the routine maintenance of the buildings, but also the health and safety of the tenants and contractors involved with renovation work, general repairs and maintenance. In addition, a clear procedure for carrying out emergency repair work will be documented to ensure that no worker is accidentally exposed to asbestos fibres. Responsibilities for the content and upkeep of the AMP is the responsibility of the Society.

Asbestos is a generic term used to describe a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals divided based on their mineralogical properties into serpentines (“S” shaped), which includes only chrysotile (the most commonly found form of asbestos), and amphiboles (“needle like”), which includes Amosite, Anthophylite, and Crocidolite. The most significant health effecting property of asbestos is the presence of long, thin fibres that can be easily separated into small respirable fibres.


Generation of Fibres: Airborne fibres may be generated in three general ways: contact, erosion, or fallout and re-entrainment.  Prevention of fibres from becoming airborne is important.

 Contact: Any contact with a material, whether it be during maintenance procedures or by impact, may result in physical damage.  Fibre release may be quite high especially if damage occurs to materials in a dry state.  Following proper maintenance procedures can greatly reduce fibre release.

 Erosion or Fallout: Fibres are slowly released from the surface of friable materials caused by air circulation, building vibrations, and/or natural deterioration.  Fibre release is usually low, but continuous, and cannot be reduced unless the material is removed, enclosed, or encapsulated.

 Re-entrainment: Fibres that have previously settled out can be re-introduced into the air during normal working and cleaning activities.  Fibre generation can vary from low to high and can be reduced by preventing fibres from being released in the first place and/or using wet cleaning methods or a HEPA vacuum.  

 Recognising the possible adverse effects of asbestos exposure to occupants and maintenance workers alike, the Society commissioned hazardous materials surveys of all the buildings, including visually inspecting and collecting bulk samples in order to identify asbestos use locations within the buildings. The asbestos hazard assessment survey documents are attached in Appendix A – Asbestos Surveys & Inventories and address not only the extent of those materials but also the potential health hazard their presence creates


Asbestos has been recognised as a health hazard for people employed in its production and processing for centuries. However, it was not until the late Nineteenth century, with the onset of the Industrial Revolution, that its use became widespread and it was not until the early part of the Twentieth century that the relationship between the use of asbestos and a variety of health effects became a source of concern to the medical profession.

Since the beginning of this century many serious, debilitating and often fatal diseases have been linked to the respiration of asbestos fibres. Although the mechanism of asbestos related diseases is still not fully understood, it is known that there is normally a long waiting (latency) period between the time of exposure and the occurrence of disease. This latency period can typically be from ten years but can be over forty. Asbestosis, Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer are the diseases most commonly associated with asbestos exposure, although several other diseases have been linked to asbestos exposure.


 Fibrosis and Asbestosis: Fibrosis and asbestosis are two conditions associated with exposure to asbestos fibres. Fibrosis is a non-specific response induced by the encapsulation of foreign agents (including asbestos) in the lung. There are ‘scavenger cells’ in the lungs, called macrophages, which engulf and trap foreign particles in the lungs such as asbestos fibres. Unfortunately, scavenger cells cannot digest asbestos fibres, because they are mineral in nature. When an asbestos fibre is trapped in the lower lung spaces, the scavenger cell will try to digest the fibre and will die in the process, forming a small amount of scar tissue. As more and more scavenger cells try to digest the fibre, the amount of scar tissue begins to increase. Once the fibrosis process is initiated, it is progressive, even in the absence of further asbestos fibre exposure. As the amount of scar tissue increases, the lung tissue becomes rigid making breathing difficult. Fibrosis usually occurs in the lower portion of the lung.

Mesothelioma: Malignant mesothelioma is an extremely rare and always fatal cancer of the lining of the chest cavity (pleura) or the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). Household members of asbestos workers, who may bring home some asbestos material on their clothes, have been reported to contract this disease. Asbestos workers themselves have 40 times the risk of developing mesothelioma, than non-asbestos workers; as the incidence of it occurs with equal frequency among smokers and non-smokers according to the Agency for Research on Cancer. The development of mesothelioma is not always related to the amount of asbestos inhaled or the duration of exposure and has no association with cigarette smoking. It may be 20 to 50 years before the mesothelioma develops and its symptoms appear. Once it is diagnosed, death often occurs within months.

Lung Cancer: Asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing cancer of the respiratory tract and lung. The mechanisms that result in cancers caused by asbestos are not completely understood. It does appear however, that the lower the exposure to asbestos, the lower the risk of developing lung cancers. The latency period is 15 - 25 years after exposure. Smoking has been shown to greatly increase the risk of developing lung cancers, and in the presence of exposure to asbestos fibres, the risk is increased even further. It has been reported that asbestos workers who smoke have 50 to 90 times the risk of developing lung cancers than do non-smoking, non-asbestos workers.

 Other Diseases : An increased risk of developing cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, digestive tract and kidney have also been related to exposure to asbestos fibres. The nature of the relationship between these cancers and exposure to asbestos has not yet been clearly defined. These other cancers are much less frequent in occurrence than lung cancer, and the true influence of asbestos exposure and their incidence has not yet been correlated.

 Medical Surveillance and Prevention: In general, it is insufficient to deal with asbestos-related diseases in terms of treatment only. A cure is seldom possible, and in the case of malignant mesothelioma, never. Therefore, programs for early detection instill a false sense of confidence, which may detract from what should be the primary effort; prevention, by controlling exposure.

 Prevention includes:

·         Reducing the use of asbestos in industry

·         Adequate industrial dust control methods

·         Proper work procedures and methods

·         Workers should discontinue smoking

·         Discontinue exposure to asbestos once a diagnosis has been made


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