Canadian physicians & surgeons call for ban on asbestos

Mon, Jun 6, 2016


Kathleen Ruff,

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a number of MPs, over 50 physicians and surgeons from across Canada call on the Canadian government to pass legislation to ban the manufacture, use, import and export of asbestos and asbestos-containing products and to establish a public registry of buildings that contain asbestos.

The signers are physicians and surgeons who specialize in treatment and care for patients with mesothelioma and lung cancer, which are asbestos-related diseases. They point out that the incidence of mesothelioma in Canada is increasing: “At present, there are over 500 new cases diagnosed each year, nearly double the annual incidence twenty years ago. It is estimated that for every case of mesothelioma there are four cases of lung cancer related to asbestos exposure.”

The letter, sent on May  16, 2016, notes that because of past exposure to asbestos, Canadians will experience cases of asbestos-related diseases for years to come.

“To ease the burden of asbestos-related diseases on Canadians and the Canadian healthcare system, efforts must be made to limit exposures. A ban on asbestos and establishing a public registry are important steps in achieving this goal,” conclude the physicians and surgeons in their letter.

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