CLC President Leads Call For Outright Ban on Asbestos as Imports Continue to Rise

The federal government took a step in the right direction recently with the announcement of a ban on the use of asbestos in federal construction projects.

However, in context that measure seems like a drop in the bucket when you take into consideration the fact that overall asbestos imports into this country continue to rise. That’s something that has brought together union representatives and families of those whose health has been affected by asbestos exposure.

Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff made the call for a total ban on asbestos in all products along with trade union representatives and family members in a media announcement last week.

The Truth About Canada and Asbestos
The fact of the matter is that millions of dollars worth of asbestos products are imported into Canada each year, including brake pads. With the collapse of the asbestos mining industry in Canada five years ago, an outright ban is the next step in protecting Canadians from the health effects of asbestos exposure.

The group’s statement called asbestos containing products the country’s biggest cause of workplace deaths. Here are the facts, according to Canadian Cancer Society research and StatsCan:

  • Over 2,000 Canadians die from causes associated with asbestos exposure every year;
  • Between 2010 and 2012, the number of new cases of mesothelioma jumped from 276 to 560;
  • Deaths from mesothelioma went from 292 to 467 during the same period.

Because many lung cancers other than mesothelioma are caused by asbestos exposure, the real toll of asbestos exposure is much higher. Here is another relevant fact:

  • Imports of asbestos containing products – including brake pads and cement-asbestos pipes – almost doubled between 2011 and 2015.

Hassam pointed out that all the asbestos containing products could easily be replaced by other, safer configurations.

Mesothelioma
When asbestos fibres are inhaled, they do not deteriorate over time. Instead, they begin to work their way into the tissue that lines the lungs and alter the cellular structure. Over time, it can cause a range of lung disorders, including cancers such as deadly mesothelioma. That’s why it takes decades after asbestos exposure for symptoms of mesothelioma and other lung diseases to manifest.

An asbestos ban would not help to cure those who have already been exposed, but it will help protect future generations.

It’s No Joke
Asbestos is a known health hazard. If you have asbestos in your home, the only way to proceed is with safety in mind. You can trust the experienced asbestos removal and asbestos remediation experts at GreenStream Environmental to take care of the issue for you. In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

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