Vermiculite Found In Four Reserve Homes

Friday, March 18, 2005 at 15:53



An announcement this week that four on-reserve homes in the province are leaking potentially dangerous material has Health Canada officials seeking to reassure bands.


However, spokeswoman Kathryn Saunders says she can’t guarantee anyone will be sent out to inspect houses on reserves unless they have the blessing of the local chief and band council first.


Saunders says her department is taking the discovery of asbestos-laced vermiculite in four Saskatchewan homes very seriously.


Neither she nor officials with Indian Affairs will reveal where the structures are — they say only that steps are being taken to address the situation.


It was just last year that a Manitoba woman claimed the reason behind the deaths of two family members was very likely due to their contact with vermiculite insulation.


Saunders says her department has been working with First Nations to make sure homes are safe.


She says band members who feel loose insulation is a problem in their homes can call 1-800-443-0395 and speak to health officials.


An official with the Prince Albert Grand Council says to the best of his knowledge no homes within the PAGC’s jurisdiction have that problem.