May 3, 2012 – After 28 years of advocating for the mining and use of asbestos, the Chrysotile Institute in Canada announced it has ceased operations. The Institute has functioned as a lobbying group for the “safe” use of Chrysotile asbestos on behalf of Canada’s asbestos mining industry since 1984. While asbestos is one of Canada’s leading exports, over 50 countries throughout the world have already banned the production and exportation of asbestos because of its toxic and deadly properties. The Chrysotile Institute has long advanced the asbestos industry’s position that as long as asbestos is handled in a safe and controlled manner, it causes little risk to workers.
An estimated 100,000 people die each year from asbestos-related cancers and illnesses, with 2,000 to 3,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. The closing of the Chrysotile Institute is a major breakthrough for lobbyists around the globe working to ban the mining and exportation of asbestos. The Philadelphia asbestos attorney, Benjamin Shein of the Shein Law, is hopeful that the Chrysotile Institute closure will have a positive effect on the movement to completely ban the use of asbestos.
Canadian Exports of Asbestos Continue to Asian Countries
Under pressure from Canadian lobbyists, the use of Chrysotile asbestos has been greatly reduced in Canada. At the same time, however, the exportation of asbestos has significantly increased to Asian countries. India, China, and Southeast Asia have fewer restrictions on the use of asbestos, which makes it easier to export the product to their ports.
In 2011, the Canadian government prevented the adding of Chrysotile asbestos to the United Nation’s list of restricted substances. If the Chrysotile asbestos had been added to the list, Canada would have been required to label shipments of Chrysotile as a restricted substance, which alerts the receiver of its potential danger. The receiver could then decide to refuse the shipment, making the export process even tougher for Canada. Without the influence and support from the Chrysotile Institute, it will be difficult for advocates of asbestos mining to continue to promote the use of this product, and possibly it will be added to the list of restricted substances in the near future.
Some experts are not surprised by the closing of the Chrysotile Institute. After 130 years of Canadian mining, the last remaining mine in operation was closed last year. However, despite national and international opposition, the Quebec government is offering a leading asbestos industry corporation a loan of $58 million dollars to re-open the Jeffrey Mine in a Quebec town ironically named, “Asbestos.” The offer remains open contingent on the corporation supplying the additional $25 million dollars needed to bring the mine back into operation.
Compensation for Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Diseases
Though the use of asbestos products continues, victims of asbestos exposure do not have to suffer silently from the catastrophic consequences. The Philadelphia asbestos attorneys at Shein Law have extensive experience representing victims of asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. When mesothelioma and asbestosis strike, families suffer great financial burdens through loss of wages, medical expenses, and medication. A renowned Philadelphia asbestos attorney, Benjamin Shein has recovered significant damages and compensation for his clients and their families. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, or other asbestos-related disease, call the Shein Law today at 1-877-SheinLaw (1-877-743-4652) for a free consultation or contact us online.