Asbestos: Death, made in Canada

Asbestos, a group of minerals that became popular because of their tensile strength and usefulness in cement and road construction, is now a known cancer-causing agent. Despite this, the World Health Organization estimates that 125 million people world-wide remain exposed to the product.  In Canada, asbestos is being removed from public libraries and schools because of its harmful effects. What many people don’t realize though, is that until recently, the province of Quebec was also simultaneously mining and exporting the deadly substance it to countries like India, the Phillipines, and Indonesia. The mine has since closed, but there has been talk of re-opening Jeffrey Mine which could extend production for another 25 years. On January 14th of this year, the Quebec Association of Lung Specialists released a statement urging the province to not re-open the mine. On today’s episode of HJR we speak with Dr. David Egilman, an associate professor of in the department of community health at Brown University, who has written extensively about Canadian asbestos.

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