UPDATE 1-Canada urged to ban asbestos mining, exports

Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:32pm GMT
 

(adds no comment from Quebec and Canada resource ministers in paragraph 9)

* Medical associations call for asbestos ban

* Large asbestos mine seeks C$58 million provincial loan

By Julie Gordon

TORONTO, June 30 (Reuters) - A group of medical associations on Wednesday called for a ban on asbestos mining in Canada, which tightly restricts the use of the material but allows it to be exported despite its health risks.

The Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Public Health Association and the National Specialty Society for Community Medicine demanded that provincial and federal governments stop funding the asbestos industry and promoting Canadian asbestos abroad.

Canada is the world's fifth largest exporter of chrysotile asbestos. Two mines in the province of Quebec account for all of the production.

Once a commonly used building material, asbestos is strictly regulated in Canada under the Hazardous Products Act and the Environmental Protection Act.

Asbestos exposure has been linked with lung and other cancers. An estimated 90,000 people die from asbestos-related illnesses every year, according the World Health Organization.   Continued...

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