Asbestos, eh?

The letter sent to many recipients on November 14/2018

Hello, in all College View Co-op buildings we live,
931-941 Avenue Rd.,Toronto)

during installation of additional fire alarm
(we already have very effective, wireless alarms)
it was discovered a few weeks ago,
that there is asbestos insulation in all walls. Despite the safety issues,
and safety of the tenants (which should be at the first place)
the scheduled work of hard wired alarm installation, which would require heavy drillings
is going to be continued.
I have called Public Safety a couple, or week ago,
and safety inspector was in the buildings.
She had found out, that the work will be continued

according to asbestos handling standards.

HOWEVER: there was no commission to check the condition of all apartments,
nobody informed tenants, how to handle the situation.
There are deteriorated, cracked walls (our ceiling in a kitchen is about to fall any time
– so during the planned drillings, vibrations might cause the fall of this dangerous,
asbestos containing material right on our heads)
Some protective mouldings at the bottom of the walls, that have been removed through all years,
have huge open spaces and holes there, which are disturbed during vacuuming.
WE CAN SEE THE OPEN ASBESTOS. We have to live with it,
and it is a direct contact with open asbestos.
There are no protections at all!
It is well known, that asbestos is very dangerous, when disturbed.
There will be 30 holes drilled in (it is already marked) – including our bedroom,
and 50 holes in front of our entrance doors apartment during hard wired alarm installation.
All together 80 drillings planned in our apartment.
We have to point out again: there are already smoke detectors in all units,
which were inspected, and approved every year by Fire Department.
How is it possible, that installing additional alarms has a priority over tenants safety.
The asbestos danger has to be addressed first.
We asked management to provide inspection, and to protect our ceiling and walls,
but we didn’t get any response at all.
When Public Health inspector was here, she admitted, that asbestos should be removed,
or at least the walls should be covered with drywall.
Why nobody didn’t take any adequate action,
nobody came to assess what needs to be done
to protect the safety of the tenants.
Many of the tenants lived at College View Co-op for twenty, thirty years or even more,
there are vulnerable mostly older people, not able to defend themselves.
Why nobody’s coming to help them?
How is it possible, that Public Safety inspector
didn’t required additional tests and procedures,
that would protect tenants?
Tenants health and their lives should be
the only priority of Public Health office.
We feel, that we are living in a surrealistic world,
where the only priority is to meet Fire Department requests,
completely ignoring the real danger.
Everybody’s only talking about procedures.
Does human life has no value at all?
We are already protected by existing, functional and effective fire alarms.
Now we understand, why asbestos exposure is the # 1 cause of occupational death in Canada.
We were told, that if we won’t comply to drillings in our apartment,
(It’s supposed to happen in one, two weeks)
the police will be called, and that maybe we should find another place for living.
We are completely exhausted with this situation,
wondering now, if all health issues we got during the last few years
were maybe caused by exposure to asbestos
PLEASE see attached photos.
With best regards
Aleksander Rybczynski
Hanka Drobnic
Tenants at 7-935 Avenue Rd.
Toronto, ON
M5P 2K7

The letter sent to inspector Winnie Kan on December 11/2018

It is a shame, that institutions, that suppose to protect the safety of people and tenants

do nothing to monitor the job, that had to be done, using all asbestos handling standards.
Contractors, drilling the walls at College View Co-op were not wearing any protective suits,
had no masks, nobody supervised the job. We have seen it,
and it was confirmed by other persons present at the location.
We will do everything we can to publicise it, as it is hard to believe this is happening for real
in civilised country like Canada.
Tenants were not informed about the plasters test for asbestos presence results
(what was the percentage of it?- there were three tests done),
The walls are being drilled without any required standards, and all Public Health department was able to do
was to tell us, that all procedures would be followed. And nobody does follow the procedures,
probably to save money on the expense of tenants health and lives.
The record of health problems at the buildings is very concerning:
three people I knew, died there recently of cancer, (right now one lady is currently at emergency)
many have serious health issues, but Co-op members
are assured, that “There is absolutely no proof that anyone’s health has suffered because of asbestos “
and there asbestos presence in the buildings is not harmful at all.
Really? From what we know it should be removed or at least covered
by new drywalls.
My wife, since she moved in, developed thyroid tutors,
and she has to undergo biopsy every six months at Mount Sinai hospital..
She learned, that it could be related to asbestos erosion.
Our apartment had damaged walls near removed baseboards,
we could see asbestos in the walls, the plasters were cracking everywhere,
nobody was interested in solving that problem,
despite inspector Winnie Kan was here, talked to us for an hour,
and she was informed about all the details.
We were left alone, with no support at all.
Aleksander Rybczynski and Hanka Maria Drobnic

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