‘Even if the Canadian government were to ban all asbestos use tomorrow, this country will be dealing with the legacy of its love affair with the deadly mineral for decades, perhaps centuries, to come.”
This shocking statement is from an article by Michelle Lalonde in the Montreal Gazette. The incubation time for asbestos disease to develop can span five decades, and asbestos is still used in building materials, auto parts, and other products today. That means repercussions of illness, death, and expense might still face Canada, and other countries, on the approach of the 22nd Century.
It is estimated there are 107,000 deaths globally from asbestos exposure each year. There is no safe form of asbestos as it is all comprised of tiny fibers that can implant in the lungs. This can lead to asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, the most deadly of the diseases.
There is no safe way for an untrained individual, using common tools and masks, to remove the material. There is also no way to know if there is asbestos present without a trained abatement professional diagnosing the situation. This means Do It Yourself (DIY) projects are risky unless the project is cleared by a professional. Though it’s geared for Canadian citizens, for a more in-depth, concise Q&A review, the Montreal Gazette article is worth reading.
The US has not banned asbestos usage entirely, though it may now be closer since recent passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act that replaced the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976.
Asbestos, once hailed as the “miracle mineral”, should be banned globally as this miracle has turned into a legacy of death for far too many people.