Canada banned the mining, use, import and export of asbestos in 2018. However, recent developments in Quebec are raising concerns for those who know all too well, the devastating health effects of exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is known to cause a number of conditions which most commonly affect the respiratory system but can also affect the abdomen and other parts of the body. Some conditions, such as asbestosis or pleural thickening, require extended periods of heavy exposure to asbestos to develop. However, mesothelioma, the incurable cancer, only needs minimal exposure to put someone at risk.
Asbestos and asbestos mining residues
Recently, Quebec’s Office of public hearing on the environment (BAPE) released an extensive report on the State and Management of Asbestos and Asbestos Mining Residues (AMR).
AMR projects are excluded from the 2018 asbestos ban and work is underway for projects to extract magnesium from 800 million tons of AMR. This is raising alarm bells for those who have been affected by the huge asbestos industry in Canada and they are concerned for the health not only of those working on the projects but also the general population.
Open letter to Quebec’s Premier
The Quebec Association of Asbestos Victims (AVAQ) has sent an open letter to the Premier Legault of Quebec. They are asking him to confirm the government’s plans in relation to three of BAPE’s recommendations:
- Immediately lower the exposure standard for asbestos in the workplace
Currently, the standard in Quebec is at least 10 times higher than that in other areas of Canada and in the United States and is 100 times high that other national standards.
- Facilitate support for victims of asbestos disease
The BAPE has recommended the compensation process be made simpler and more humane.
- Health requirements prior to any exploitation of asbestos mining residues
Before any project proceeds, it should not cause an increase in environmental concentrations of asbestos and the extraction process should completely destroy the asbestos fibres without affecting air quality.
We look forward to seeing the response to the AVAQ.
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos compensation claim for mesothelioma or other asbestos disease then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.