Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Journal of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) that works for Asbestos Free India inspired by trade union leader Purnendu Majumadar. Occupational Health India and ToxicsWatch Alliance are its members that includes doctors, researchers and activists. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims. It works with trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. For Details: 1715krishna@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Protect Canadians from asbestos harm, PM Harper urged

October 27, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Protect Canadians from asbestos harm, PM Harper urged

“Asbestos is the number one cause of death due to occupational disease for Canadian workers,” says Larry Stoffman, Canadian Labour Congress, Lead, Workplace Hazardous Materials Current Issues Committee, “and it’s time for the Canadian government to stop ignoring this ongoing and preventable tragedy.”

Reports show that occupational cancers caused by exposure to asbestos account for 70% of all fatal occupational disease. In Quebec, the figure is 84%. Fatalities due to asbestos exposure are rising in all provinces.

“Asbestos goes on killing for decades,” says Dr Fernand Turcotte, Professor Emeritus of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University. “It is urgent that the government take action on this critical public health hazard.”

Last spring, experts from UBC and Toronto confirmed that, in BC alone, there may be up to 500 excess cancer cases annually due to workers being exposed to asbestos.

Unions and environmental organizations have asked Prime Minister Harper to support the World Health Organization’s plan of action which calls on Canada to create a national audit and registry of where asbestos-containing materials are located and to remove those that represent a hazard. This would help protect construction workers and occupants of buildings where asbestos-containing materials are present.

“We have requested a meeting with PM Harper’s representatives on the urgent need for the government to take action to protect Canadians from this continuing tragedy of exposure to asbestos” said Wayne Peppard, Executive Director, BC & Yukon Building Trades Council.

Canada is the only country in the developed world continuing to support use of asbestos. PM Harper is the last national political leader supporting Canada’s asbestos trade. The last asbestos mine is located at Thetford Mines in Quebec.

“It’s time for the government to put the health of Canadians ahead of political games around asbestos,” said Kathleen Ruff of the Rideau Institute on International Affairs.

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