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CLC President Calls Asbestos Ban A Victory For All Canadians

Happy new year Canada! On behalf of the entire DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. staff, we would like to wish you a very happy and healthy 2017. And thanks to the recent announcement that asbestos will officially be banned in Canada, we can all breathe a little easier – literally. It’s no secret to readers of our blog that we have been big proponents of the ban on the hazardous material that is known for killing upwards of 2,000 Canadians a year.

We join people like Canadian Labour Congress president, Hassan Yussuff in celebrating the federal government’s decision to ban asbestos, which finally came on December 15th. Right before ringing in the new year, Yussuff took to writing a letter about the asbestos ban, declaring it a “victory for all Canadians”. He was and continues to be one of the hardest-working protestors of asbestos in Canada. As he points out in his letter, which was published on TheTelegram.com, the ban is bound to save thousands of lives.

“Banning asbestos will lead to better occupational health and safety protections for workers,” he writes, “Experts estimate that 150,000 Canadians are exposed to asbestos at work, particularly in industries like construction, automobile maintenance, shipbuilding, trade contractors and waste management. Internationally, the World Health Organization reports more than 100,000 asbestos-related deaths per year.”

Yussuff admits to having a very personal attachment to his convictions. Asbestos has taken the lives of many people he has met throughout the years. In the many years he has been working towards a ban, he has been introduced to numerous families of workers who have unknowingly brought home deadly asbestos fibres. This exposed their children and spouses to the hazardous material. Today, many of them battle mesothelioma and other respiratory illnesses.

However, Yussuff himself has also been exposed to asbestos. In his letter, he recalls his days working as a mechanic, exposing himself to asbestos-containing brake pads and clutches. “Because asbestos-related cancers have such a long latency period, I don’t know yet if I’ll be one of the unlucky ones,” he admits, “What I do know is that there are far too many workers who, unlike me, may have been exposed to this killer for years without even knowing it.”

The comprehensive nationwide ban of asbestos in Canada was a mandatory measure, as far as Yussuff is concerned. Although Canada stopped mining asbestos years ago, the nation still inexplicably imported products that contained the deadly substance. In fact, there became an increase in the imports of products such as brake pads and construction materials after Canada no longer produced asbestos itself.

Naturally, this only worked to increase asbestos exposure in our country. As a result, deaths from mesothelioma increased 60 percent between 2000 and 2012, Yussuff informs. “A ban on asbestos is about protecting workers, their families, and communities,” he insists, “It is about saving lives, here in Canada and internationally. I commend the federal government for its leadership, and I urge the provinces and territories to work diligently to help implement the ban.”

The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., would also like to commend the federal government for banning asbestos. We know, however, that there is still a lot of work to be done to protect Canadians from the material that already exists here. If you have any questions about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to ask them.

Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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