This seems like a redundant question with an obvious answer. Asbestos is a known carcinogenic. Those who work or live near asbestos develop an especially cruel form of lung cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and has an extremely low survival rate. Of course, most Canadians think, the Canadian government has banned asbestos from sea to sea. But it hasn’t.
At Home and Around the World, Canada has long had a reputation as the world leader in asbestos production and promotion. As a nation, we stopped mining and exporting asbestos in 2012 when the Quebec government chose not to provide the necessary funding for a mine to reopen. However, the Harper Government remained very supportive of asbestos. During his time, Canada wrote pro-asbestos documentation used to sell asbestos to the global south, and today Canada continues to import asbestos containing materials. Canada also continues to extract magnesium from asbestos in Quebec.
In Canada, 2000 people are diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases each year, and more than 10,000 people have died in the last 10 years. Following Denmark’s lead, 50 nations have banned asbestos outright, but Canada is not yet among them.
2018 is supposed to change all this. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government promised in December 2016 that the federal government would work to ban asbestos completely. This is a stark change in Canada’s position on asbestos, because it means admitting that asbestos in all its forms is dangerous and leads to death. It means accepting the fact that asbestos is the leading cause of workplace-related deaths in Canada and accepting that the Canadian government’s stubborn approval of asbestos contributed to those deaths. Here at Amity Environmental, we’re just happy that fewer Canadians will lose loved ones to asbestos-related cancer going forward. Winter is just around the corner, and 2018 is only a few months away. We look forward to hearing an update on this ban from the government.
Does your home have asbestos or asbestos-containing materials? Most homes built before the 1990s do, but many newer homes also contain some asbestos. The government is finally catching up to scientific fact in order to protect Canadians, but we don’t recommend waiting around. Contact Amity Environmental today to have your home tested for asbestos.