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Asbestos FAQ

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is committed to providing a safe environment for all students, employees and guests — protecting them from environmental and occupational hazards, including the potential health risks associated with exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are flexible, strong, resistant to electricity and unaffected by chemicals and high temperatures.

Because of these properties, asbestos was used for years in many commercial products, including insulation and fireproofing materials and cement and wallboard materials.  Collectively, these are sometimes referred to as asbestos-containing materials (ACM or ACMs). 

ACMs were used extensively in erecting and renovating buildings until the 1990s — especially those constructed between 1940 and 1975 — and, as a result, can be found in older buildings at SAIT.  Most asbestos-containing materials at SAIT, however, are in areas not accessible by students, employees or the public.

Today in Alberta, the use of asbestos is restricted in building materials as it can lead to serious health conditions if not properly identified and controlled. Intact and undisturbed asbestos poses no direct health hazard. When handled, however, it can separate into particles that remain in the air and can be inhaled.

How does SAIT deal with asbestos?

In accordance with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety requirements, SAIT has measures in place to prevent disturbance and airborne exposure to asbestos on campus.  Our asbestos management program includes sampling and analysis, monitoring and safe work requirements for anyone working around ACMs.

For each construction, demolition or renovation project, SAIT conducts a hazard assessment. If any ACMs are found, SAIT follows asbestos management program requirements, which indicate proper and safe removal and disposal of materials in accordance with Alberta regulatory requirements.

Find more information on asbestos at these sources:

Alberta Asbestos Abatement manual

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety legislation

Government of Canada – Health risks of asbestos

Additional questions can be directed to SAIT’s Health, Safety and Environment Services department.

Contact us

Health Safety and Environment Services

TF249, Thomas Riley Building, SAIT Main Campus

403.284.8606 hse.services@sait.ca

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