For the past several months, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has kept a close eye on the asbestos situation in Canada. And by “situation”, we’re referring to the fact that, in May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government was “moving forward on a ban” of the deadly material. To date, there has been no confirmation as to when the nationwide ban on asbestos will take place.
We, along with the rest of Canada, continue to wonder exactly what is taking so long. As Tavia Grant reported in The Globe and Mail yesterday, the government is still “examining” a ban, but is providing few details as to why it hasn’t yet been implemented. Gabriel Miller is the director of public issues at the Canadian Cancer Society. “Our position, and the evidence, is as clear as it can be: that asbestos is a carcinogen that is a major cause of cancer, including lung cancers, that kill many Canadians,” he is quoted as saying.
Asbestos is a killer. The statistics make it clear. Grant, in fact, provides several scary ones. Here are four:
1. It is estimated that there are 2,331 newly diagnosed cancers caused by asbestos exposure in Canada each year. This stat, based on 2011 cases studied by the Institute for Work and Health, underlines the fact that far too many Canadians have been exposed to asbestos fibres while on the job. The majority (90 percent) of lung cancer and mesothelioma cases brought on by asbestos exposure impact men.
2. More than a third of workplace-related deaths in Canada are caused by mesothelioma. This startling statistic comes courtesy of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Over the past decade, reports Grant, 34.5 percent of all fatality claims filed involve the asbestos-induced cancer. Between the years 2006 and 2015, mesothelioma became “the most common occupational disease” in our country.
3. Inexplicably, Canada continues to import millions of dollars worth of asbestos every year. According to Statistics Canada, in the first eight months of 2016, our nation imported a whopping $4.3 million in imports of asbestos and asbestos-containing products. Meanwhile, the Institute for Work and Health notes that asbestos-related cancers cost Canadians an estimated $1.7 billion per year to fight.
4. There are 716 federal buildings with known presences of asbestos. There are 2,186 properties listed in Public Services and Procurement Canada’s new national asbestos inventory. This statistic shows that approximately one-third of them are unsafe for Canadians to work in. It’s no wonder that mesothelioma cases are dramatically increasing each year. According to Statscan, there were 467 deaths related to the disease in 2012 – a 60 percent increase from 2000.
“This year and every year, 150,000 Canadian workers will be exposed to asbestos, and thousands will be diagnosed with asbestos-related cancers in years to come,” vented Howard Elliot in The Hamilton Spectator yesterday, “We don’t need more study and review. We need national leadership to ban asbestos. Period.” We second that, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd.
We are adamant that even one more Canadian to suffer a life-threatening illness because of asbestos exposure is one too many. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services. They include a number of asbestos testing procedures such as an onsite assessment and sampling and analysis of materials collected from various parts of your home or office.
Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.