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1.

Why is it that Canada does not consider it necessary to ban chrysotile?

2.

Why promote chrysotile as being safe to use when so many people die from exposure to it?

3.

Why is Canada exporting chrysotile to developing countries and is not using it?

4.

Why lobbying against an asbestos ban?

5.

Is it true that asbestos will kill 100 000 people this year around the world?

1.

Why is it that Canada does not consider it necessary to ban chrysotile?

The banning of chrysotile is inconsistent with all current scientific evidence. At a workshop co-sponsored by the International Commission on Occupational Safety and the International Programme on Chemical Safety, the vast majority of scientists recognized that the risk associated with exposure to chrysotile at today's standards is very low.

Because it can be used safely, Canada supports the safe use principle, which is a risk assessment/risk management approach not only for chrysotile, but for all minerals and metals. Most substances have the potential to be dangerous if misused.

Moreover, in many countries, chrysotile cement provides an inexpensive and durable products for supplying water, transporting sewage and building cost effective housing.

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2.

Why promote chrysotile as being safe to use when so many people die from exposure to it?

The long latency period between heavy dose exposure to chrysotile and/or mixtures of chrysotile and amphiboles and the development of health effects and mortality observed by some workers are linked to past uses. Sprayed-on asbestos, often amphiboles, have been prohibited in most countries since the 1970s. Products such as chrysotile cement, when used safely, do not pose any discernible risk to human health. The fact that countries banning chrysotile do not proceed to the removal of in place chrysotile-cement roof tiles, pipes and building plates supports this statement.

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3.

Why is Canada exporting chrysotile to developing countries and is not using it?

This assertion appears to erroneously be based on the quantity consumed in Canada compared to its shipments or the quantities consumed in other countries. If we look at quantity on a per capita basis, Canada's consumption is 20% greater than most consuming developed countries.

The use of chrysotile in developing countries allows them to build community and manufacturing infrastructures. The products they are manufacturing are essential for the distribution of potable water, for irrigation purposes and for housing projects. They do not pose a heath threat to the public. Substitute products are more expensive to use and do not permit the development of a local industry. Also evidence is showing that some of these substitute products are not safer than chrysotile.

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4.

Why lobbying against an asbestos ban?

It is important to use solid science to guide our decisions in matters such as this. The chrysotile industry has a responsibility to promote its safe use. Thru the responsible use program, the international chrysotile industry is helping an industry that can be a model for the use of potentially hazardous materials. Banning a substance that is properly controlled and that is naturally present in our environment does not make sense. It would force the substitution from a strictly regulated industry in favor of another using products which are unknown and for which uses and manipulation are not controlled.

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5.

Is it true that asbestos will kill 100 000 people this year around the world?

This alarmist figure is far from reality. The estimated number of deaths connected to all types of asbestos, regularly advanced by ban asbestos groups is based on the model of Peton : it was shown that it coarsely over-estimated the true number of deaths. The model does not establish the differences between all asbestos fibres. People should know that amphiboles are far more dangerous for health than chrysotile. The model is an extrapolation of occupational diseases data associated to a strong exposure to asbestos fibres, mainly amphiboles.

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