Mesothelioma News- Canada continues to mine lethal asbestos fibers

World Health Organization continues to condemn the use of toxic chrysotile asbestos and the mining of the lethal substance while Quebec actively mines the cancer causing product.

Canada mesothelioma lawyers-Canadian provinces continue to allow LAB Chrysotile to mine asbestos materials known to cause fatal cancers.

Quebec–Asbestos, a known cancer causing substance, has been banned by the United States and most developing countries, including the European Union, and has been condemned by the World Health Organization for decades. However, the shocking fact that two Canadian provinces, Ottawa and Quebec, actively mine and promote the sale of chrysotile asbestos substances is appalling. As reported by The Gazette on September 28, 2009, the article revealed that asbestos, widely known to cause chronic diseases in humans like asbestosis and fatal cancers, like mesothelioma lung cancer since 1984, is still mined in Canada and sold overseas. Asbestos is rarely sold or even used in Canada anymore but it is sold overseas by the two main Canadian chrysotile asbestos mines that are owned and operated by LAB Chrysotile.

The World Health Organization (WHO) openly condemns the use and mining of the toxic asbestos materials and actively educates people of all nation’s of the dangers of primary and secondary exposure to asbestos containing materials. Asbestos is known to cause debilitating lung illnesses like asbestosis and fatal cancers like mesothelioma. When miners, workers, family members, and consumers are subjected to asbestos fibers through primary or secondary exposure their risk of developing incurable illnesses and or diseases later in life is increased exponentially.

Canada remains one of the few developing countries who has not banned asbestos yet taxpayers have spent, and continue to spend, hundreds of millions of dollars on the demolition and removal of asbestos from Parliament buildings. Close to 7,000 workers still mine in Quebec and by 1984, twenty-five years ago, when the dangers of asbestos were well known world wide, the asbestos industry began to promote asbestos as a safe consumer product. The asbestos campaign by the mining industry was with the support of the Canadian government. The asbestos manufacturers and Quebec unions founded the Asbestos Institute (now known as Chrysotile Institute) to educate on the positive uses of asbestos and is subsidized by both levels of government. In the spring of 2009, the government agreed to pay $1.35 million into the Institute over three years.

LAB Chrysotile mines and exports asbestos containing substances to developing countries like India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Brazil and estimated the asbestos exports are worth more than $100 million. A study released in 2006 reported asbestos exposure was responsible for a 70 percent rise in work-related deaths in Canada, which is more than 300 deaths per year. MiningWatch Canada asserts the asbestos mining company, LAB Chrysotile, pays the lowest taxes in Quebec after government breaks and subsidies. In 2002, the total public expenditures on the asbestos industry was $107.7 million according to The Gazette.

The United States Surgeon General and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assert any human exposure to asbestos containing products is toxic and may cause irreversible harm and damages. The former W.R. Grace mining town of Libby, Montana, is a recent example of the devastation after actively mining asbestos for decades. Over 2000 miners, workers, and residents of the community suffer from illnesses and lung diseases believed to be from repeated exposure to aerated asbestos fibers produced at the vermiculite mine in Libby. There are some 200 documented deaths by federal health officials in Libby, and the EPA has the entire area listed on their Superfund site. The United States government through the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared the northwest Montana communities of Libby and Troy a public health emergency on June 17, 2009, at a joint press conference. This is the first time in U.S. history the EPA determined conditions at a site constituted a public health emergency under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). When is Quebec going to wake up and become globally responsible for their asbestos mining actions?

Canada mesothelioma cancer education by legal news reporter Heather L. Ryan

About Author