Responding to Emergency Contamination Incidents Including Steps Involved

May 29th, 2023 | in Asbestos
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Emergecy & Rapid Response to Asbestos Incident

How companies respond to an emergency involving an asbestos contamination incident such as asbestos, lead, heavy metals dust or more depends on several variables. First there is the type of contaminant in question, then there is where the contaminant is found or believed to be, and then different jurisdictions will have different requirements. 


A fire in a building or facility as an example may require a multifaceted approach and depending on the scale of a fire, there may be considerable potential for asbestos, lead, heavy metals dust and toxic ash contamination to be spread well beyond the facility or building involved, often in a friable form requiring a highly structured response to ensure the safety of all involved including the environment.

So, the response to hazardous materials contamination and the steps involved may vary a great deal and one scenario does not fit all. Also, a very detailed guide is beyond the scope of this article. There are, however, some very general principles regarding how the response to hazardous materials contamination should be carried out. 

In today’s blog article, we are going to list and describe the basic steps that are always involved.

  • Suspect presence of a contaminant.
  • Have an experienced third party professional initiate gathering of information and laboratory testing for confirmation.
  • Confirm presence of contaminant.
  • Perform risk assessment, exposure control plans and alert appropriate persons and regulators.
  • Hire an experienced and certified contractor with appropriate insurance and certified workers for operational phase.
  • Begin recovery, decontamination, abatement, and remediation.
  • Remediate / decontaminate.
  • Perform continuous monitoring and testing.
  • Begin visual and air clearance inspections work area.
  • Debrief and review process of decontamination and response.

For the decontamination of some materials like asbestos in BC, special insurance, asbestos license, training and certification is required. The decontamination of workspaces is dangerous work, and we highly recommend that you select insured and licensed professionals with certified workers to do your abatement and remediation, for the safety of those decontaminating and those who will live or work in the spaces afterwards. 

Hazardous materials abatement is our business, and we are available to help you if you need an experienced decontamination company. We can be reached toll-free in Surrey, BC at (888) 296-2499.


Enviro-Vac is one of the oldest privately owned environmental contractors in Canada offering a full suite of services in hazardous materials abatement and decontamination including negative pressure shrink-wrap containments, industrial vacuum services and abrasive blasting. We are available to work both small and large-scale projects across Canada. The head office is based in Surrey, BC. 

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about hazardous materials abatement, decontamination or shrink-wrap solutions, please call us on our toll-free number, (888) 296-2499.

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