Canada has joined the more than 50 countries around the world which have banned asbestos. The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations came into effect on 30 December 2018.
Alec Farquhar, from the Canadian Office of the Worker Adviser, gave an update on the progress of the ban at the ASEA conference in Sydney (ASBESTOS:the next national plan] .Alec is a lawyer who has a long career in the area of asbestos disease compensation and prevention. He coordinates Asbestos Free Canada and helped develop Canada's national strategy. AVA volunteers had a photo opportunity with Alec in Sydney.
The Canadian strategy now includes a registry of exposure and location, protection for the public and workers, screening for those exposed (100,000 affected per year), a mesothelioma health network and research, support for transition for communities and businesses and the encouragement of innovative alternatives research.
We were startled to learn that ¾ of the asbestos mined in the world came from Quebec. In fact there is a town in Canada named Asbestos - it is the site of the Jeffrey mine, until recently the world's largest asbestos mine.The discarded serpentine tailings from decades of asbestos mining have created a "lunar landscape" that stretches for eight miles and is estimated to comprise 800 million tonnes of residue.How to deal with that residue is Canada's next challenge.