Scientists implore Charest to stop asbestos exports
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 28, 2010 1:53PM EST
MONTREAL - Scientists from 28 countries are appealing to Quebec Premier Jean Charest to put a stop to asbestos exports from the province.
They are asking Charest in a letter dated today to take heed of extensive international scientific opinion that all forms of asbestos present a danger for public health.
The 100 or so scientists say the province needs to stop mining asbestos -- also called chrysotile -- and stop sending it abroad.
The powerful asbestos industry in Quebec is a fierce defender of the product and say it's safe if precautions are followed.
But the academics say Quebec's position is hypocritical and they also want the province to stop funding a lobby group that promotes asbestos.
The letter states while Quebec exports asbestos to foreign countries, it rarely uses it in construction projects at home.
Canada's $100-million-a-year asbestos industry is localized mainly in Thetford Mines, Que., home to the country's last operational mine.