Public health applauds Government of Canada’s announced ban on asbestos
OTTAWA, ON – 15 December 2016 – The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) congratulates the Government of Canada for its decision to implement a comprehensive ban on asbestos and asbestos-containing products.
“Today’s announcement represents a victory for the health of Canadians and builds on Health Canada’s 2015 revised position on the health risks of exposure to chrysotile asbestos,” said Ian Culbert, CPHA’s Executive Director. “We are relieved that Canada is fulfilling its obligation by taking action on the well-established evidence that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases.”
According to figures compiled by the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, asbestos was the cause of death in 367 accepted claims in 2015, making it the largest workplace killer in the country. Since 1996, there have been 5,614 recorded work-related fatalities from asbestos.
“This is a major public health issue in Canada and in many other countries around the world,” said Culbert. “The Government of Canada has made a very good decision.”
In a global context, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that currently 125 million people are exposed to asbestos in the workplace. The WHO also notes that there are many non-fibre, low hazard materials that can substitute for chrysotile asbestos in various uses, such as conventional building materials.