Pressure on Ottawa to ban asbestos in buildings

Canada’s construction industry still uses asbestos and there is now a push for it to be banned. More than 50 countries already prohibit its use due to links with cancer. Now a number of groups, including the Canadian Cancer Society, nurses’ associations and building trade councils, want the government to introduce a ban ahead of the planned uptick in infrastructure projects.

Canada’s last asbestos plant closed in 2011 but imports continue with sheets, panels, tiles and pipes among the construction elements that can contain it. The World Health Organization says there is no safe level of use and all uses cause lung cancer. The Globe and Mail reports that its use is the largest work-related killer in Canada, putting thousands of construction workers’ lives at risk.

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