Asbestos ban will save lives

In an exciting announcement made on December 15th, the federal government said it will ban the manufacture, use, import and export of asbestos in Canada by 2018.

Asbestos is the leading cause of workplace death in Canada, and the Canadian Cancer Society has been on the front lines advocating on this important cancer issue for nearly 10 years. The Society’s committed volunteers and staff across the province have met with MPs, written letters to the editor, and brought awareness of the dangers of asbestos.

Moreover, thanks to research funded by donors, Dr. Paul Demers and his team at the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) were able to quantify the burden of workplace cancers caused by asbestos in Canada, and help us advance our call for a national ban on this harmful substance.  

“Today is a win for public health, but it’s also a win for the truth. Because the truth has been neglected on this file for a long time,” said Gabriel Miller, vice president of public issues for the Canadian Cancer Society. “What a ban says is: we admit, all asbestos causes deadly cancers, and it comes in no safe form. And ending the denial and the delay that’s defined our approach to asbestos in Canada is the first step to healing the scars of this substance.”

The ban, once implemented, brings Canada in line with the more than 50 countries worldwide that have banned the use of all forms of asbestos, including Australia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, most of which implemented bans decades ago.

Thanks to you, this nationwide asbestos ban will prevent cancer and save lives. Our advocacy work to bring about this type of change in government policy is only possible because of you.

To learn more about the dangers of asbestos and the federal government’s decision, click here to view the full press release.