Health Canada report ties asbestos to lung cancer

Health Canada sat for more than a year on a report by a panel of international experts that concludes there is a “strong relationship” between lung cancer and chrysotile asbestos mined in Canada.

Health Canada received the report in March 2008, resisting calls from the panel chairman to release the findings despite his plea last fall that the delay was “an annoying piece of needless government secrecy.”

Canwest News Service obtained the report under Access to Information legislation, but the request took more than 10 months to process.

Vancouver Sun

Yes, dog bites man anywhere else except Canada, which has a hard time accepting that it routinely exports products that kill people. The “annoying piece of needless government secrecy” is neither needless or annoying. It protects a dying industry with a few, powerful stakeholders in Quebec, an important swing political province, so there’s need for it! Annoying – your seat “buddy” on the bus yammering on their cellphone, cancer, well, I don’t know, you tell me!

Expect little to change from this report. It does mention that there is little danger from “Canadian exposure levels”, conveniently forgetting that 90% of the export is to developing countries where there are fewer safeguards. This feeds into the Canadian government line that “chrysotile” is safe if used correctly. If you think this line of reasoning is familiar, it is. The tobacco industry used it routinely till recently.


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