Exporting Harm: How Canada Markets Asbestos to the Developing World

Exporting Harm: How Canada Markets Asbestos to the Developing World

By Kathleen Ruff

October 30, 2008

Key Findings

  • Most Canadians are not aware of the international role Canada has played to sell chrysotile asbestos to developing countries.
  • Every independent scientific body in the world, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Canadian Cancer Society has called for the ban of chrysotile asbestos as it has been recognized as a carcinogen and not safe to use.
  • Chrystoile asbestos has been banned by most industrialized countries.

Some tactics used by the Canadian government to promote the sale of Canada’s asbestos include:

Giving millions of dollars of public funds to the Chrysotile Institute to promote asbestos sales in developing countries;

Preventing people handling Canadian asbestos from being warned that it is hazardous;

Using intimidation, trade threats and political interference in the affairs of other countries to prevent the banning or regulating of asbestos;

Denying help to Canadian victims of asbestos contamination and exposure; and

Attempting repeatedly to sabotage a U.N. Convention so as to prevent developing countries being informed of the hazards of chrysotile asbestos.

Ruff, Kathleen. Exporting Harm: How Canada Markets Asbestos to the Developing World. October 2008. Rideau Institute.

Read More


Leave a Reply




Pugwash 60th Anniversary Conference

From 23-26 July in Halifax and Pugwash, Nova Scotia, in celebration of Canada’s 150th and the 60th anniversary of the Pugwash Conference, the Canadian Pugwash Group hosted the “Canada’s Contribution to Global Security Conference“. Key focus areas included nuclear disarmament, multilateral peace operations, Outer Space and Cyber Security, ASATs and Space Weapons, the consequences of climate change for global security, and the Government of […]

Read More
View the Blog »

Canada must champion non-military responses to global challenges

On June 6th, Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland gave an address to the House of Commons that outlined the government’s approach ...

Omar Khadr settlement a victory for the rule of law

"On behalf of the Government of Canada, we wish to apologize to Mr. Khadr." – Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale "I hope ...