Despite Health Risks, Canada Continues to Use Pipes with Asbestos

New Construction will Contain Asbestos

Although the health risks of asbestos are widely known and have been known for decades, many countries still allow its usage including the US and Canada. And while we know that older buildings were often built with asbestos components, did you know that even newly constructed buildings in Canada are being built with asbestos-laden products including pipes with asbestos?

What’s really difficult to understand about the government and industries choosing to allow building components made with asbestos to be used is the millions of dollars they are simultaneously spending on abatement to remove asbestos from existing buildings. Knowing it may eventually have to be removed and could risk the lives of all who build, maintain, work and live in these building, why use these products to start with?

Asbestos Used in Hospital Expansion – Is it Safe?

A major supplier of building components in Canada, Tuyaux Logard, is owned by Louis Beauregard and continues to use asbestos in its materials that are used all over Canada and most recently the McGill University Health Centre for a hospital expansion. All of Logard’s pipes use asbestos and he doesn’t see an issue with opting for asbestos. Beauregard told The Globe and Mail that the only risks are during installation and that the products are less expensive and more flame retardant.

But what if the installation workers aren’t aware the pipe they’re installing has asbestos? What if the pipes are damaged and leach asbestos? What if the building burns down or is otherwise damaged and releases the deadly fibers? The fact is the product is safe under certain circumstances, but when it’s not safe, it’s deadly.

And it’s one thing if the people who will build, live and work in the buildings knowingly choose to allow asbestos products in their work and home environments, but when they are placed there without their knowledge, they are put at a potentially deadly risk they didn’t consent to. This is exactly what has happened with other asbestos products. More than 100,000 people die each year from asbestos caused cancers and asbestosis. This product has killed and continues to kill.

Mesothelioma death shown in infograph

Is Your Health At Risk?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 125 million people are being exposed to asbestos on the job worldwide. WHO also states that all types of asbestos cause cancer – there is no safe version of this product. Their research has also demonstrated that there is no “safe amount” of asbestos exposure. Even a low level of exposure can result in mesothelioma and the WHO says, “The most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to stop the use of all types of asbestos.”

If you’re moving into a newly constructed property in Canada for home or work, you should be aware that there may be asbestos in your building. It’s well worth investigating before you buy or lease in a new property. Research where the materials came from that went into the building and find out if they were manufactured by someone that routinely uses asbestos in their products. If manufacturers of materials and builders won’t voluntarily cease using asbestos, perhaps voting for zero tolerance of asbestos through how we spend will put an end to it once and for all.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact Bergman Draper Oslund for a free consultation. We have devoted our practice to fighting for the rights of asbestos exposure victims and have won more than $700 million in settlements for people sickened by this toxic substance.

Contact The Firm

Representing asbestos and mesothelioma clients throughout the Northwest.

520 Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98101

1355 NW Everett St.
Suite 100
Portland, OR 97204

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