Asbestos was a highly used and valuable mineral; now most countries consider it to be anything but that. It first mined in the great white north in the 1870’s and continued on to help cities thrive off the resource into the next century. Miners started to contract terminal illnesses such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis in the 1900’s after developing an initial shortness of breath on the mining sites.
The exposure to asbestos has since been revealed as the main cause for some of these diseases. The asbestos exposure affects a thin lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen, and heart. Perhaps the worst part about this type of exposure is the fact that mesothelioma symptoms lay dormant in a latency period that can sometimes last up to 50 years.
Diagnosis often comes late in life, with such a long latency period. The mesothelioma life expectancy is an average of between eight to 14 months following diagnosis.
The world health organization has also banned asbestos, citing it as a carcinogenic. The mineral is also banned in all 27 European Union member countries. While other countries have taken this stance,
Asbestos is only used in
Perhaps the worst thing about the situation is the types of countries to which the asbestos are dumped onto are third world countries with little or no health and safety regulations. These countries are exposed to a high number of hazardous exposures and have very little resources in helping those affected.
The Canadian government has a certain interest in keeping this trade alive as 95 percent of the 240 tons mined per year is exported out. The country is the fourth largest exporter of asbestos in the world, putting itself at the forefront of western support for the mineral.
Just recently, a high amount of criticism has been brought on towards
While many Canadians are against the mining of this mineral and speak up to have it stopped, it’s clear that there is still a faction completely behind asbestos exporting due to its monetary value. With the spread of related illnesses and the controversy surrounding the mineral, hopefully this type of exporting comes to end in the near future. There’s certainly an opportunity to impact a rather hypocritical policy where