Complaints spark calls for Calgary asbestos review

Calgary Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra says the city should move to protect people from potential asbestos dust released into the air near demolition sites.

Complaints prompt Calgary city councillor to call for city oversight of demolition sites

A Calgary city councillor will make a suggestion at city hall today to protect Calgarians from potential contamination by asbestos dust.

Gian-Carlo Carra, councillor for Ward 9, wants the city to be notified when a building is to be demolished to allow municipal inspectors to be present. He is making the request in response to concerns raised by constituents.

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Carra acknowledged the city does not have a direct role in asbestos abatement. Alberta Health Services oversees public health but doesn't cover demolitions. 

"What we discovered was that there was a gap between different levels of government who regulate things," said Carra.

Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra of Ward 9 says the city needs to protect citizens from possible asbestos contamination at demolition sites.

"There's Alberta Health and Safety, there's the Alberta building code and there's the city inspectors."

Carra is suggesting the city change its building permit process to require contractors doing demolitions to notify the city so it can dispatch inspectors to the site.

He said he has been told building inspectors can take on the job without significantly adding to their workload and the move will not require hiring additional staff.

"This concern about asbestos came up last year when a house in Bridgeland was being demolished," said Carra.

He said he received complaints about dust — potentially from asbestos — being spread onto neighbouring properties.

Asbestos particles have been linked to serious health problems, including emphysema and lung cancer.


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