Dallas, Texas (WiredPRNews.com — Mesothelioma Press Release) At one point in time, Canada thought that asbestos was their ticket to prosperity. They even called it the “magic mineral”, and began mining it extensively throughout the country, particularly in Quebec. Unfortunately, in the 1960s when asbestos miners began to show physical signs of asbestos disease, the excitement died down. Canada, like many other developed countries, has spent the last 20-plus years trying to rid homes, schools, and offices of the asbestos insulation that was so freely used.
According to CBC News in Canada, hospitals are still dealing with the after-affects of asbestos use. In 2007, a Sarnia, Ontario clinic registered a new patient almost every day with asbestos-related cancer, such as mesothelioma. This southwestern Ontario city is home to a major petrochemical complex that includes companies such as Imperial Oil, Suncor, and Shell. There are thousands of pipes running through the area that were covered with asbestos insulation and many remain. Quebec is home to the majority of Canada’s asbestos mines and has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world.
Still Mining Asbestos
In spite of the known dangers of asbestos, Canada still continues to mine the mineral and is the second largest exporter after Russia. The bulk of asbestos is shipped to developing countries such as India and China.
There is support for an asbestos ban in Canada. For example, in July 2007, the Canadian Cancer Society called for the government to phase out the use and export of asbestos. Unfortunately, this type of ban would have a devastating effect on the asbestos miners, who still make their living working with this dangerous mineral.
Canada is caught between a rock and a hard place. While the World Health Organization has labeled all types of asbestos as carcinogenic, most developing countries have banned asbestos completely, and the United States announces plans to ban asbestos use in our own manufacturing, Canada continues to support asbestos mining. Unfortunately, the industry is floundering and the Canadian exports are down to less than 25 percent of its original number during its “hey day”.
In addition to the controversy over asbestos and the associated diseases, other factors are causing Canada issues. Transportation costs continue to rise and there are other countries that can sell asbestos more cheaply, like Zimbabwe.
It looks like the asbestos industry in Canada is at risk. While this is good news for proponents of asbestos bans, it does pose issues for the country economically.
For more information and articles on asbestos exposure and mesothelioma visit:
Mesothelioma Family Resource Center