Why does Canada still support the mining, export and foreign usage of this carcinogenic material when tests show how lethal asbestos fibres are to the human body? I'll tell you why. Quebec is a major producer of asbestos fibre and the industry is powerful enough to convince politicians in this country to oppose the addition of chrysotile asbestos to the list. It's a ploy by our politicians to buy votes in Quebec. Interestingly, asbestos use in Canada has declined dramatically since the early '80's. If the industry believes their product is so safe why are we not using it here in Canada?
Estimates put the number of people who die every year from asbestos related diseases at 90,000. My father-in-law was one of them. I knew a number of other miners who also suffered the same fate after working for years in a mine on the Baie Verte (external - login to view) peninsula in NF.
Right now there's a registry set up in NF to track the health of some 2000 workers who worked the BV mine over the years. The cancer rate on the BV peninsula is well above the national average. A report on Thetford Mines in Quebec last year showed soil, air and dust samples to be 'severely contaminated'. Kids are actually using the tailing mounds as off-road sites, carving trails up and down the sides and spewing the toxic dust into the air and into their lungs. Yet we still allow the mining to go on.
Our governments should be pressured to bring in laws to cease the mining and export of chrysotile asbestos, get this substance onto the Rotterdam Convention list and bring some honour back to the country on this front.