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Canadians Unhappy With Delay On Asbestos Ban

Grunge rubber stamp with text Danger Asbestos,vector illustrationOver the course of the last couple of months, we have dedicated a number of blogs to the horrifying effects of asbestos exposure in Canada. It’s no secret that the once-thought-to-be-helpful product is a major culprit for causing lung cancer and mesothelioma. The bottom line is that asbestos is a killer. Canada needs to ban it completely and it needs to be banned immediately. To be honest, we were hoping that we’d have news of a nationwide ban by now.

Last month, we blogged about the fact that Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau was moving towards passing a law to ban asbestos in Canada. As of yet, it hasn’t happened. And, as Kathleen Ruff reports in the Ottawa Citizen, this slow move to go ahead with the ban is as good as a broken pledge. “It is inexplicable that at UN meetings, the Trudeau government’s position is that it has not made up its mind whether chrysotile asbestos should be put on the Rotterdam Convention’s list of hazardous substances,” she writes.

Ruff also makes sure to highlight the fact that asbestos is the “biggest killer of Canadian workers”. So while the Trudeau government has taken steps to prohibit its use at Public Works and Government Services Canada workplaces, it has yet to pull Canada from the asbestos trade. In fact, Canada was the lone country to not list chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance at the recent Rotterdam Convention. And according to Ruff, this is having “serious consequences”.

“The Rotterdam Convention is in deep crisis and fighting for its life and Canada is the country that created this crisis,” she insists, “Countries are asking what use is the convention if a tiny handful of countries can thumb their noses at the scientific evidence and refuse to allow a substance to be listed in order to hide its hazards and profit from its sale.”

For the record, chrysotile asbestos is the most commonly used form of the hazardous substance and has often been used as insulation in roofs, ceilings, walls and floors. It was also commonly used in automobile brake linings, pipe insulation, gaskets and boiler seals. As you can imagine, it can be quite profitable to deal in chrysotile asbestos. As such, Ruff believes that Canada has outright lied about its knowledge of the product’s harmful effects.

She notes that the reasons that Canada chose not to list chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance include that it has not been proven to cause cancer and that it can be safely used. But these statements are blatantly false, Ruff affirms, noting that “Canada for decades funded and disseminated this false information overseas. It is unconscionable that Canada is regurgitating this deadly, false information now.”

Perhaps, the most glaring evidence that Canada is on the side of wrong on this issue is the fact that it’s the only country to not have listed chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance. “The most recent meeting to try to save the Convention has been taking place in Riga, Latvia from July 3 to July 5,” Ruff informs, “Now is a critical moment for Canada to end its sordid global asbestos-promoting history.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we certainly support Ruff’s stance on wanting Canada to ban asbestos nationwide. Our commitment to keeping Canadians safe is one of the reasons we offer Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services. By providing asbestos testing prior to your plan to perform renovations, you will be protecting yourself from the deadly effects of this well-known hazardous substance.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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