As Canada turns 150 years old, along with the celebrations, it’s time to also take stock of issues that have left a darker thread in our legacy as a country – one of them being asbestos. The Miracle Material Asbestos had been used by indigenous people in the American West and other areas where it…

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A University of Toronto innovation is helping firefighters track the effects when it comes to exposure to asbestos and other hazardous substances. Statistics show that firefighters do suffer from an increased risk of mesothelioma – twice as high in some studies. Mesothelioma is the result of exposure to asbestos fibres. Because of their virtually indestructible nature, they…

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As 2015 came to a close, headlines across the country brought the news of the tragic passing of Raven ThunderSky, an asbestos advocate. Buildings in the First Nations reservation she grew up on in Manitoba were insulated with vermiculite that was contaminated with asbestos. ThunderSky had already lost several relatives to asbestos-related disease. Zonolite – the brand…

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Decades after it was largely removed from use in everyday objects, asbestos continues to haunt both the industrialized and developing worlds. Statistics Canada recently released figures that show the health effects, including the number of cases and deaths from mesothelioma, the deadly cancer caused only by asbestos exposure, continue to be on the rise. Some…

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The plot in the ongoing drama involving the federal government, workers and asbestos continues to thicken. The saga began when workers at a federal tax centre building in Ottawa complained that they had worked on the structure for years – only to find out after the fact that it was contaminated by asbestos. The latest…

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Asbestos Awareness Week happened earlier this month in the U.S. We have no comparable event or effort here in Canada which is a shame and even something of a travesty because we know that awareness and knowledge are the best ways to avoid asbestos exposure. About a century ago, asbestos was hailed as a “miracle”…

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A fire – and the asbestos it exposed – closed a University of Windsor building recently. The fire itself was reported to be relatively small but it engaged the ceiling in a lab in the biology building. Firefighters tried to get at the source and exposed the asbestos fibres in the process. Asbestos in the…

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