The Canadian Cancer Society has added its voice to several groups calling on the new Canadian government to ban all uses of asbestos in Canada. The World Health Organization warns that no form of asbestos is safe. It causes lung and other types of cancer and asbestosis.
Some 150,000 Canadian workers are exposed to asbestos at work and the fibrous mineral is said to be responsible for highest number of workplace deaths in Canada. While the asbestos mining industry was shut down four years ago, the mineral is still used by construction workers, shipbuilders, mechanics and engineers.
Asbestos-related illness already puts a burden on Canada’s publicly-funded health care system, says Gabriel Miller of the Canadian Cancer Society. And that will get worse. “Many of the cancers and other illnesses caused by it only emerge much later and so we really haven’t reached the peak number of asbestos-related diagnosed illnesses and death in Canada.”Listen Busy agenda may cause delay
The Society has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to ban asbestos and it is backed by several nurses’ groups, builders’ groups, union and several cities. Miller thinks the governing Liberals agree in principle with a ban, but they were only elected in October 2015 and it may take some time before they deal with this particular issue.