Canadian Lung Association Blog

Asbestos: You have the right to know!


Asbestos is a natural fibrous mineral that is heat resistant, chemical resistant and hard to break down.  It is found in items such as insulation and ceiling/floor tiles.  If these products are to be disturbed, you should call a trained professional to remove it properly.  Exposure to asbestos fibres can cause a type of pulmonary fibrosis called asbestosis.  Asbestos causes damage and scarring so your alveoli (air sacs) become stiff, not stretchy.

Howard Willems from Saskatoon recently died of cancer because of exposure to asbestos on the job.  He was just 59 years old.  Howard was an inspector with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  Right up until his death, he advocated for a mandatory public registry of public buildings that contain asbestos.

Now Howard’s family, the Canadian Cancer Society, Lung Association and first responders including firefighters, emergency workers and police chiefs are working hard to get Howard’s Law passed.  You can help.

If you agree that you have to right to know if asbestos is present in your school, hospital or daycare, please sign this petition and share it with others.

Mike Holmes has partnered with the Canadian Lung Association to build awareness among do-it-yourselfers and homeowners about the impact of asbestos on their lung health.  Get the facts about asbestos before you start your next home renovation project.  You could save your lungs.

If you have questions, call the Lung Helpline – 1-888-566-5864.

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2 comments on “Asbestos: You have the right to know!
  1. Georgina Dowling says:

    Having worked in an asbestos mine, namely Cassier Asbeston, in Clinton Creek, Yukon Territories, 1970 until 1974 where at first I worked in laundry, shaking the miners clothes and preparing them to wash. I then worked in the asbestos lab, where the buckets of asbestos were brought into us. We would toss them and shake them vigoursly until I could get relevant sample. The room and adjoining eating room were full of dust permanently, We the workers complained of the dust but were told that this would not hurt us and being ignorant we carried on. Even when one of my co-workers had his lung removed it did not ring a bell. The company were so strong with their evidence of no worries for us. Anyway now I cannot walk upstairs, and walk far and cannot make a bed without gasping for breath and have to stop. Also I used to swim 60 lengths of pool, now I can’t do three strokes. I never told any of my doctors I worked in an asbestos mine, it never occurred me, as it was such a long while ago. Nothing they gave me ever worked. The only time I even thought about asbestos was when I went to the local chemist, and they had leaflets on shelf and I saw one about Asbestos and read it. So please would you inform me to do exactly and who to contact.

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