Hazardous Building Materials

The management of hazardous building materials poses legal and financial challenges for those in the construction, real estate and property management fields. The failure to deal with these hazardous materials may be a major risk and a possible economic loss whether for renovation, demolition, sale or new construction.


Hazardous building materials can impact all building industries including residential, commercial and industrial. The management of hazardous building materials poses legal and financial challenges for those in the construction, real estate and property management fields.

The failure to deal with these hazardous materials may be a major risk and a possible economic loss whether for renovation, demolition, sale or new construction.

Who Can Be Impacted?

The groups potentially impacted by hazardous building materials include:

  • Occupants, Tenants, Workers and Employees
  • Commercial and Residential Property Management Companies
  • Industry Suppliers and Contractors
  • Manufacturing Companies
  • Construction Companies
  • Real Estate Developers

Possible Risks include:

  • Health impacts - workers, residents, occupants and tenants
  • Environmental impacts - waste disposal, resource utilization
  • Legal costs - fines and/or criminal prosecution, civil suits
  • Financial - poor sales/re-sales and/or losses of leases
  • Publicity - tenant and owner relationships

Typical Hazardous Building Materials

Common hazards include, but are not limited to:

  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Silica
  • Man-made Mineral Fiber (MMMF)
  • Mould
  • PCBs

Regulations and standards that may influence the management of hazardous building materials include:

What Should You Do?

  1. Develop a hazardous materials inventory and update yearly.
  2. Develop work practices and procedures for handling hazardous materials for either routine maintenance or major renovation/demolition.
  3. Develop and implement any required training. Those supervisors and/or workers involved with the handling of hazardous materials will require training as well as emergency response personnel.
  4. Develop a plan to move to "green" building materials and "sustainable sites" for routine maintenance and renovations.

How Can LEHDER Assist?

LEHDER has extensive experience with hazardous materials identification through:

  • Hazardous Building Materials Assessment
  • Mould Investigations
  • Indoor Air Quality Assessments

LEHDER can assist in the comprehensive management of your hazardous materials to satisfy your regulatory requirements, including identification and development of safe handling procedures for the maintenance, renovation, and/or demolition of hazardous building materials. 

Helpful Web Links

Ontario Ministry of Labour

Ontario Ministry of the Environment

Building Owners and Managers Association

Infrastructure Health & Safety Association

Canadian Construction Association

Canadian Green Building Council

Questions?

For more detailed information on hazardous materials assessment and management, please contact:

Sid Lethbridge

Marnie Freer

Penny McInnis