The Canadian Public Health Association is congratulating the federal government for its decision to implement a comprehensive ban on asbestos and asbestos-containing products.
CPHA Executive Director Ian Culbert says they are relieved that Ottawa is fulfilling its obligation by taking action on evidence that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases.
Asbestos has been banned in 50 countries worldwide and Canada is hoping to implement a full ban by 2018. That includes changes to national building codes and bans on its importation in products, like brakes.
Numbers compiled by the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada show that asbestos was the cause of death in 367 accepted claims last year, making it the largest workplace killer in the country.
In the last 20 years there have been 5,614 recorded work-related deaths from asbestos.
Government Should Have Acted Sooner: Widow
Jerry Lanning of Botwood thought he had the flu when he got sick in January of 2013. By July of that same year, he was dead.
His widow, Bev Peckford says while she’s pleased the ban is coming, the federal government should have acted sooner.
She says every day that goes by, more people are being exposed to asbestos.
Peckford says her husband was exposed while working in the engine rooms of boats on the St. Lawrence Seaway. She says no signs were ever posted about the dangers of exposure to asbestos, and he was breathing in the dust and fibres for years before getting sick.