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  • November 14th, 2011

Kathleen Ruff: “This is like saying tobacco does not cause cancer”

In his Globe and Mail article “WHO rebukes would-be Quebec asbestos magnate,” journalist Julian Sher reports that Baljit Chadha, the entrepreneur behind Quebec’s controversial asbestos exports, has earned a rare public rebuke from an official with the World Health Organization for distorting its position on the safety of the carcinogenic product.

Ivan Ivanov, the team leader of occupational health at the WHO Department of Public Health and Environment, was critical of Mr. Chadha for stating in a recent newspaper commentary that a WHO-sanctioned level of exposure to asbestos “poses no health risk.” “There is no safe threshold of exposure to all forms of asbestos,” Dr. Ivanov said.

“This is like saying tobacco does not cause cancer,” said Kathleen Ruff, the senior human-rights adviser with the Ottawa-based Rideau Institute and a leading opponent of Canada’s asbestos exports to countries where safety standards are lax. “Not a single reputable scientific or medical association supports the assertions put forward by Mr. Chadha.”

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/who-rebukes-would-be-quebec-asbestos-magnate/article2204200/


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