There are a number of contaminants that may have to be sampled in order to determine whether there is a risk for a building or the health of its occupants. These include asbestos, lead, moulds and pyrite.
The use of construction material containing asbestos stopped in the mid-1970s, but asbestos is still used to manufacture floor and ceiling tiles and certain cement-based materials.
Around 1976, the lead content in interior paint was limited to 0.5% by unit of weight (500 mg/kg). However, until the 1960s paints could contain up to 50% lead by unit of weight. Lead also used to be commonly used for welding and fabricating some plumbing pipes.
Moulds are a cause of respiratory illnesses that have also made headlines in Québec in recent years when the government has been obliged to close schools due to the presence of moulds.
In the late 1980s, problems with pyrite made headlines in Québec. A number of homeowners discovered that the foundations of their homes were affected by swelling of the pyrite contained in the granular fill under the concrete slab. Sampling of this material is used to determine whether the granular fill presents a major potential for swelling that could cause obvious defects in the building or concrete sulfation likely to cause visible lifting of the concrete slab and justify refurbishment work.
Groupe SCP Environnement Inc. has the necessary expertise to establish a sampling program and to take the samples needed to establish the presence of these contaminants.