Sunday, October 13, 2019

Beyond the ban: experts say more needed to tackle ongoing asbestos problem

 

 

As reported in the Regina Leader-Post, when Paul Demers took industrial hygiene training in the 1980s he thought asbestos was a thing of the past, but 30 years later it remains the leading cause of workplace deaths in Canada.

An epidemiologist and director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre in Ontario, Demers said the asbestos ban that was enacted in 2018 is a good first step, but will have little impact on the risks still facing workers today.

“You can’t see asbestos in the air,” he said. “You’ve got to know whether it’s there or not.”

That’s why Demers and other advocates are now calling on workplaces and governments across the country to move beyond the ban and focus on an important next step: prevention.

Although the use of asbestos in Canada dropped dramatically in the mid 1970s, more than 150,000 Canadians still encounter the carcinogen in the workplace every year according to Demers, who presented at a WorkSafe Saskatchewan event Monday morning in Regina.

When Paul Demers took industrial hygiene training in the 1980s he thought asbestos was a thing of the past, but 30 years later it remains the leading cause of workplace deaths in Canada.

An epidemiologist and director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre in Ontario, Demers said the asbestos ban that was enacted in 2018 is a good first step, but will have little impact on the risks still facing workers today.

“You can’t see asbestos in the air,” he said. “You’ve got to know whether it’s there or not.”

That’s why Demers and other advocates are now calling on workplaces and governments across the country to move beyond the ban and focus on an important next step: prevention.

Although the use of asbestos in Canada dropped dramatically in the mid 1970s, more than 150,000 Canadians still encounter the carcinogen in the workplace every year according to Demers, who presented at a WorkSafe Saskatchewan event Monday morning in Regina.

Keep reading in the Regina Leader-Post

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