Lancet, Asian delegation urge Canada to ban asbestos exports

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Lancet, Asian delegation urge Canada to ban asbestos exports


QUEBEC AND TORONTO— From Thursday’s Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Dec. 08, 2010 6:30PM EST
Last updated Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010 7:46AM EST

Quebec is finding itself at the centre of a world debate this week over the production and export of asbestos, with a prestigious medical journal taking on the government and a delegation from Asia arriving to urge support for a ban on the product.

The Quebec government is poised to offer a $58-million guaranteed loan to an international consortium that plans to reopen the Jeffrey Mine, located in Asbestos, Que., that would produce 225,000 tonnes of asbestos a year for export to Asia.

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“There are few safety standards in these countries to handle what the entire medical community considers to be a dangerous carcinogen,” said Oman George, an occupational health worker from India who is part of the delegation.

“Canada finds asbestos too dangerous to use but it [wants] to export it to developing countries. That’s like telling everyone that Canadian lives are more important than those in India, Indonesia, and everywhere else where the asbestos mined in Quebec will be exported.”

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