The end of the Jeffery Asbestos Mine in Quebec

Dramatic developments regarding closure of the Jeffrey asbestos mine:

In October 2012, the newly elected Parti Québécois (PQ) government of Quebec announced that it was cancelling the $58 million loan that the previous Liberal government had given to the owners of the Jeffrey mine for the purpose of opening an underground mine that would export millions of tons of asbestos overseas, particularly to Asia, for years to come. The Parti Québécois was defeated in 2014 by the Liberal Party

In August 2014, it was learned that the PQ had never, in fact, officially cancelled the $58 million loan. The necessary decree to cancel the loan had not been passed and the loan was still available. The current Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports, Jacques Daoust, accused the former PQ government of negligence. Daoust announced that his government has now signed the decree to cancel the loan. Thus, the Liberal government, which just two years earlier gave the loan, cancelled the loan.

Ottawa's sunny outlook on asbestos is out of step with the facts

Ottawa’s sunny outlook about asbestos is out of step with the facts and is sending a confusing signal to Canadians. While provincial workplace safety officials warn of a growing epidemic of asbestos-related illnesses, including the incurable cancer mesothelioma, the federal government peddles the line that there “are no significant health risks if asbestos fibres stay enclosed or tightly bound in a product.

Ottawa must review its position and bring it in line with reality.

Mesothelioma risk after 40 years since first exposure to asbestos: a pooled analysis

The study looked at whether the risk of mesothelioma continues to increase after more than 40 years since first exposure to asbestos. There is evidence that the rate of increase in the incidence for pleural mesothelioma reduces at about 45 years since first exposure while peritoneal mesothelioma continues to increase. So, while the rate of increase appears to start to level out after 4050 years no one survives long enough for the excess risk to disappear. 

Click here for a PDF of the study.

The Asbestos Narratives: A Report into the Real Impact of an Asbestos-related Diagnosis

This project was conducted by Southern Cross University to understand the social, psychological and economic impacts of asbestos-related disease. The researcher provides new insights and evidence into the social, psychological and economic impacts of asbestos-related disease in this report. It draws together the contribution of the project’s partner organisations and the experiences of over sixty men and women who have been affected by asbestos exposure in some way. While historically asbestos-related disease research has predominantly focused on men, this research also focused on women who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related disease, and on women as carers, providing new and informative insights into how this debilitating disease impacts and affects women. 

A copy of the report can be downloaded from this page on the Southern Cross University's website. It's an excellent report and well worth the read.

Free on-line course: "Occupational and Environmental Cancer: Recognition and Prevention"

This free on-line course, "Occupational and Environmental Cancer: Recognition and Prevention", available on the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website, is for physicians and other health care providers.

The course teaches primary health care providers how to recognize occupational and environmental cancers and how to respond to this finding. Insights are provided into how the recognition of occupational and environmental cancer risks can lead to prevention. Case studies will highlight key points and allow participants to apply lessons learned.

Killer Dust

Why is asbestos still killing people? Nic Fleming finds out in a twisting tale of industry cover-ups and misinformation that spans decades.

Given that asbestos could be present in any building refurbished or built before 2000 in the UK (before 1990 in Canada) – homes, hospitals, schools, offices – it’s likely that the specialist removal companies will be busy for years to come. So too will be the clinics and hospitals dealing with the human casualties of the appalling legacy of a mineral called asbestos.

WorkSafeBC and Labour Heritage Centre are Creating Short Asbestos Film

WorkSafeBC and the Labour Heritage Centre (a virtual museum on worker and labour issues in BC) are creating a 10 minute video on the asbestos issue including production, health effects to workers, and workplace controls. It will also include clips of interviews with family members of asbestos victims. We’ll provide the link to the video once it’s complete.

Checkout the excellent film that they've just completed about another worker tragedy - “New Video Remembers Bentall IV Tragedy”.