In mid-October, an offer was made by an Indian group to save one of Canada’s two remaining asbestos mines. Located in Asbestos, Quebec, the Jeffrey Mine has come close to shutting down because of financial problems and is currently under financial protection. While extending the life of the mine would save hundreds of jobs, it would continue to allow Canada to be ranked among the top exporters of asbestos in the world, a material that kills 90,000 people worldwide every single year according to the World Health Organization.
Asbestos fibers are inhaled when the material is disturbed – such as during the mining or construction process – and this can lead to a number of different respiratory ailments including chronic lung scarring and mesothelioma, which is a deadly and aggressive form of lung cancer.
Canada exports its asbestos to primarily developing countries, the largest consumer of which is India. The Jeffrey mine is over 130 years old, and this new offer would add another 25 years to its production. This summer, the government of Quebec was poised to offer the mine a $58 million loan, but has not yet decided whether it would provide it. According to various news outlets, the offer is the talk of the town. In many cases, whole families depend on the mine for a living. However, it takes decades for the health effects of asbestos exposure to show up, and in some instances only a day of exposure has been blamed for the development of mesothelioma.
The cases of mesothelioma are on the rise across Canada as miners and construction workers who were exposed to asbestos materials between 20 and 30 years ago are just now being diagnosed.
Should you suspect the presence of asbestos in your home or business, Contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca – Toronto’s asbestos removal specialists – at (416) 818-9414.
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