Environmental Services



Stachybotrys - black mold

As well as being a contaminant mold is also a causative agents of infections in humans. Many cases of exposure can cause allergic reactions and infections. A few cases of fatal deep infections due to exposure been reported in the immunocompromised people. Other clinical syndromes include brain abscess, peritonitis, and onychomycosis.

Toxic black mold or black mold can grow in houses and is extremely dangerous to humans.

The general types of symptoms caused by toxic black mold include:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Skin inflammation
  • Hemorrhage
  • Irritation of the mucous membranes
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Mental impairment
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Immune system suppression

Toxic black mold can cause permanent damage to your health. In some cases toxic black mold has even lead to death. Because of the serious health effects toxic black mold can cause, it is recommended to take steps to get it removed immediately.

Stachybotrys - black mold


All types of asbestos fibers are known to cause serious health hazards in humans. Amosite and crocidolite are considered the most hazardous asbestos fiber types, however chrysotile asbestos has also produced tumors in animals and is a recognized cause of asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma in humans, and mesothelioma has been observed in people who were occupationally exposed to chrysotile, family members of the occupationally exposed, and residents who lived close to asbestos factories and mines. Chrysotile is the most common asbestos found in BC.

Exposure to asbestos in the form of fibers is always considered dangerous. Working with, or exposure to, material that is friable, or materials or works that could cause release of loose asbestos fibers, is considered high risk. In general, people who become ill from inhaling asbestos have been regularly exposed in a job where they worked directly with the material.

sources of Asbestos in the home

The most common diseases associated with chronic exposure to asbestos are asbestosis and mesothelioma.


Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract (peritoneum). It is almost exclusively related to asbestos exposure and by the time it is diagnosed, it is almost always fatal.


Asbestosis is a serious scarring condition of the lung that normally occurs after heavy exposure to asbestos over many years. This condition can cause progressive shortness of breath, and in severe cases can be fatal.

Asbestos can be found in hundreds of building materials such as but not limited to:

  • Caulking and gaskets
  • Drywall and joint compound (including texture coats)
  • Plaster
  • Gas mask filters pre-1960s and gas mask filters from the USSR
  • Vinyl floor tiles, sheeting, adhesives
  • Roofing tars, felts, siding, and shingles
  • "Transite" panels, siding, countertops, and pipes
  • Popcorn ceilings, also known as acoustic or textured ceilings
  • Fireproofing
  • Brake pads and shoes
  • Stage curtains
  • Fire blankets
  • Interior fire doors
  • Fireproof clothing for firefighters
  • Thermal pipe insulation
  • Filters for removing fine particulates from chemicals, liquids and wine
  • Dental cast linings
  • HVAC flexible duct connectors
  • Concrete