Canada is continuing to export cancer-causing asbestos to countries in which its use has not yet been banned.
It’s no surprise that asbestos is dangerous, but to many of us, the mineral is obsolete. The only time we seem to hear about it is when it’s being removed from an older building by workers wearing HAZMAT suits. It may come as a surprise, then, to know that Canada is continuing to export the harmful substance to countries in which its use has not yet been banned, such as India.
The Canadian Medical Association understands the irony, and in 2010, urged the Canadian government to stop the export of asbestos and to close the two Canadian asbestos mines. However, according to the David Suzuki Foundation, although one of the mines will be closed, the other will be expanded.
Thankfully, it’s an issue that’s gaining momentum in Canada—TV personality Rick Mercer discussed the issue during an episode of his show Rick Mercer Report and the David Suzuki Foundation has launched a petition to ban the production and export of asbestos aimed at the Canadian government.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral that can be used to retard fires and absorb heat, and therefore was used in many buildings. However, its tiny fibres build up in the lungs, and can cause lung disease and cancer.