The truth about asbestos mining and research

Fatal Deception, a recently aired CBC documentary, looks into the asbestos industry and the harmful health effects of the mineral. It highlights how the industry and government have been lying to Canadians. The documentary asks, “Is the federal government relying on junk science to justify its support for re-opening asbestos mines in Quebec?”

NDP MP Pat Martin, who for years has been fighting Canada’s export of asbestos, was interviewed in a Montreal Gazette article and said that the CBC documentary shows the industry is still trying to sow confusion as to whether chrysotile asbestos, a cancer-causing substance banned in more than 50 countries, is really all that harmful.

PSAC member Howard Willems is the Chair Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and wrote an open letter to to all Conservative Members of Parliament in November 2011 questioning the Conservative asbestos policy and exporting of asbestos.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen. Asbestos was once widely used worldwide, but it is now banned or restricted in more than 50 countries. India is the latest country to see people lobbying the government to ban use of asbestos. According to the World Health Organization, more than 107,000 people die each year from asbestos-related lung cancer, Mesothelioma and asbestosis resulting from occupational exposure. About 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace. 

Stay tuned to CBC for follow up segments on this important issue.