Designated Substance Services

Designated substance services in Ottawa for buildings and construction Operations for Property Management, Construction, and residential Sites.

Get in touch for a free consultation or estimate for our services:


What is a Designated Substance?

A designated substance is defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario (OHSA) as a biological, chemical, or physical agent or combination, which the exposure of a worker is:

  1. Prohibited;
  2. Regulated;
  3. Restricted; and
  4. Limited or controlled.

Employers are required to take reasonable precautions to protect workers, occupants, or others from known hazards.  Substances that are specifically designated in Ontario include:

  1. Asbestos;
  2. Lead;
  3. Silica;
  4. Mercury;
  5. Arsenic;
  6. Benzene;
  7. Coke Oven Emissions;
  8. Ethylene Oxides;
  9. Isocyanates;
  10. Vinyl Chloride; and
  11. Acrylonitrile.

Before beginning a project, Project Owners must carry out the following according to OHSA:

  1. Provide a list of all designated substances to potential contractors reasonably known to be present at project Site;
  2. Include the above info as part of all tenders; and
  3. Ensure any prospective contractor has received this list of designated substances before entering a binding contract.

The designated substances most encountered during construction or demolition projects include asbestos, lead, mercury, and silica. Asbestos is found in a wide variety of construction materials including thermal system insulating materials, surfacing materials, and other miscellaneous products. Lead is typically a concern due to its presence in paints and other surface coatings. Silica is present in any cementitious material such as concrete, mortar, and asphalt. Mercury is often found in thermostats, fluorescent lighting, or mechanical switchgear.

Other hazardous materials of concern during construction and demolition include mould, PCB’s and ozone depleting substances.


Designated Substance Assessment and Testing

Designated Substances
Lead Based Paint, Silica in Concrete, Asbestos Containing Texture Coat

We conduct visual inspections and testing for the materials designated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario.  Reports provide findings and recommendations based on Industry Regulations and Guidelines. Assessments include visual inspections and testing for Asbestos in accordance with Ontario Regulation 278/05, “Designated Substance – Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations”. Visual inspection for lead paints (optional testing based on client needs), mercury, and silica containing materials are included. Depending on your needs, assessment, and testing of hazardous materials including mould, PCB’s, and Ozone depleting substances can be included.


Designated Substance Management

We can assist you with designated substances management. Recommendations in reports detail obligations and best practices needed during building operations, renovations, alterations, and demolition. The goal of proper management is to protect workers, occupants, and others during building operations and construction activities.


Designated Substance Project Assistance

We can provide you with:

  1. Testing & inspection services during planning, construction and demolition projects
  2. Project tendering including contractor selection, project design, and project monitoring.
  3. Specifications for renovations, alterations, and demolition.
  4. Required training for workers and other project participants including awareness of hazards and respirator training.


Contact Us

Ottawa Contaminant Solutions