Wednesday, 11 September 2013


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Well known for its cold weather and love of hockey, Canada has recently been recognized as the country responsible for not adding asbestos to the international hazardous list. Canada’s asbestos mining efforts started around 1850 when chrysotile asbestos deposits were discovered in Thetford. By 1876, approximately 50 tons of asbestos were being mined in Quebec. By the 1950s, the annual mining haul was more than 900,000 tons. 
In early 2011, the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Quebec, received scrutiny after the Canadian government proposed a $58 million grant to reopen the mine. Because private investors failed to raise $25 million by the July 1, 2011 deadline to purchase to mine, the grant from the Quebec government has been delayed for an unknown amount of time. This delay is intended to give investors more time to raise funds. 
As recently as June 2011, Canada again decided not to support adding chrysotile asbestos to the list of hazardous substances in the Rotterdam Convention, an international treaty that promotes unity and responsibility about exporting and importing hazardous chemicals and substances. Canada is the only G8 country that has not voted to include asbestos in the treaty.
Despite its hard-line position, Canada actually uses very little asbestos. It exports 96 percent of the mined mineral to Asian countries.

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