Asbestos – At Last, the Medical Community Has Been Heard

Montréal, September 19, 2012 – The Québec Medical Association (QMA) applauds the decision of the federal government to no longer oppose listing the chrysotile form of asbestos as a hazardous substance in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention. This highly significant decision affirms the hazard of asbestos in all its forms.

Since 1945, the medical community has been compiling and identifying the pathologies related to asbestos. The QMA’s position on the use of asbestos is clear: chrysotile asbestos is a carcinogen and causes asbestosis. Continuing to operate asbestos mines and export this product are unacceptable activities from a medical standpoint.

According to the Institut national de santé publique, even when controlled, the safe use of asbestos is not achievable in practice. It is therefore important, for the health of asbestos workers and the health of people around the world, to favour banning the mining and export of this substance.

The Québec Medical Association is now urging the Government formed by the Parti Québécois to maintain its position to cancel the $58-million loan promised by its predecessor for the Jeffrey Mine, and to invest this amount in economic activities that will not create long-term health problems.  

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About the QMA

The QMA is made up of close to 10,000 general practitioners, specialists, residents and medical students. Its mission is to bring together the members of Québec’s medical community in a context that promotes reflection and action in order to improve the conditions for practising medicine and the health of Québec’s population.

For information:  

Myriam Labelle
Communications Consultant
Québec Medical Association
Telephone: 514-866-0660
Toll free number: 1-800-363-3932
E-mail: myriam.labelle@amq.ca