On December 15th, the Canadian government announced it will move forward to fulfill its commitment to ban asbestos and asbestos-containing products by 2018.
“This news was most heartening to us at ABS Friction,” said Rick Jamieson president and CEO. “While the ban is long overdue, we are thankful it is finally going to happen. Working with local politicians Liz Sandals, Frank Valeriote and Lloyd Longfield for over fifteen years, ABS has been creating awareness around the dangers of asbestos. We would like to thank them for their ongoing efforts and support. We have twice seen “ban asbestos” private members’ bills reach second reading, only to stall for one reason or another. We also want to acknowledge the heroic efforts made by the families of asbestos victims who have been stalwart and resolute in their efforts to raise awareness of asbestos’ deadly heritage from their first-hand experience.”
While the ban does not take effect until 2018, there is a continued opportunity to raise and increase awareness around asbestos. ABS Friction, in promoting their Asbestos Offensive initiative, has been shocked at the alarming number of mechanics who believed asbestos had been already banned. Until imported brake pads with asbestos are banned two years from now, ABS will continue to communicate the dangers of asbestos to the automotive community.
Asbestos is by far, the top on-the-job killer in Canada, accounting for almost 5,000 death claims since 1996. But that does not reflect the true depth of its effects. Many victims die of mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer, but it may take 20 to 50 years after exposure to materialize. (source: Statistics Canada)
In addition to banning asbestos, ABS urges the Canadian government to not stop there. Taking a page from the states of California and Washington’s treatment of toxic materials, we urge the Canadian government to also ban chromium, mercury, copper, cadmium, lead and zinc, along with asbestos.