Refocus the asbestos lens

Published April 18, 2012

In your April 2012 issue, there were two articles describing the efforts of to stop Canada’s involvement in asbestos because of health-related risks [Parishioners protest, p. 1, and Killer buildings, p. 3]. Although I applaud those involved for shedding light on the continued practice of asbestos production and export, I can’t help but think of those parts of the world to which we export, such as Africa. It seems to me that the articles are looking at this through a rather North American-centric lens, as the focus seems to be on the negative aspects of asbestos production and export from a Canadian perspective, rather than on the harm that can be prevented by ceasing to export asbestos to countries such as Africa. What is their alternative to asbestos insulation? Is it readily available? Is it affordable? Insisting that we cease the export of asbestos may be idealistic rather than practical. I would suggest we refocus the lens, looking at the issue from the African point of view, and come up with the most health-minded and financially feasible way forward for those directly involved.

Tara Davidson
Embrun, Ont.


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