In late 2018, the Canadian federal government finally did the right thing, and put the asbestos ban into effect. For most of the 20th century, and now into the 21st, asbestos continues to be a public health hazard, and a leading cause of workplace deaths.
Beyond the ban: Prevention
Many health and safety experts are now calling on the federal government for a comprehensive prevention strategy to deal with the legacy of asbestos in both public and private buildings.
Some measures have been taken on the provincial level, including Saskatchewan, which has taken a leading role in this field. However, Canadian workers across the board need protection from this threat that takes decades to develop.
- Construction and renovation workers are now one of the prime candidates for asbestos exposure when they work on older buildings;
- With the rise of DIY renos, it means that anyone taking on a renovation project, or installation of a home security system or other work that involves moving into walls, is also at risk;
- According to experts, upwards of 150,000 Canadians still come into contact with asbestos in the workplace every year;
- Over 500 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in Canada – 85 percent of them workplace related – each year, with the numbers rising.
Paul Demers, an epidemiologist and director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre in Ontario, spoke to reporters about the risk that still lingers.
“You can’t see asbestos in the air. You’ve got to know whether it’s there or not.”
Concrete measures are needed across the board.
- A registry of public buildings in every province that contain asbestos (so far, only Saskatchewan and the federal government have done this);
- A record of who is exposed to asbestos, and where;
- A patient registry to track new cases, and determine if measures are working to reduce the number;
- A firm plan for asbestos removal, rather than waiting for problems to happen.
Asbestos in your home?
Let us help. If you have asbestos anywhere in your home, let us help with the next step: asbestos removal. Our experienced and certified asbestos removal and asbestos remediation technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.
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