Dr. Dawg

Ethical asbestos

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Harper disdain.jpg

A child’s plea to Stephen Harper obtains the expected result.

Cavanagh Matmor has a message for Prime Minister Stephen Harper: The sixth-grader didn’t appreciate Harper’s “cut-and-paste reply” to her emotional letter pleading with him to end the government’s support for the asbestos industry.

… “They don’t know how it feels to have a grandmother and a grandfather die of asbestos,” an emotional Cavanagh told reporters on Parliament Hill. “It breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that they’re going to continue doing that and people from other countries are going to have to go through the same thing. It’s hard to take in.”

The family matriarch, Doreen Stachan, died in August from mesothelioma, linked to asbestos exposure through her husband, Wolfgang von Palleske. He was exposed to asbestos from the Jeffrey mine, previously known as the Johns Manville mine, when he worked at an asbestos plant in Toronto.

He died of mesothelioma in 2007.

Asbestos from the Jeffrey Mine is exclusively chrysotile.

From the PMO it’s all “too bad, so sad” and the usual prevarication:

“Our sympathy goes to the family and indeed, to all families who have lost loved ones to cancer,” Harper’s spokesman, Andrew MacDougall, said in a statement issued after the emotional news conference.

“Canada, under various governments, has promoted the safe use of chrysotile domestically and internationally for more than 30 years. Scientific reviews confirm that chrysotile fibres can be used safely under controlled conditions.”

Backstory here. And a little epidemiology here.

The incidence of pleural mesothelioma in chrysotile miners and millers [in Quebec], although not as high as in the crocidolite workers, is well above the North American male rate. Comparative analyses of incidence of the disease in the 2 mining towns suggest that tremolite contamination may not be a determining factor in these chrysotile workers.

[H/t Alheli Picazo via deBeauxOs]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on November 27, 2011 9:46 AM.

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