ASBESTOS, QC, Dec. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mouvement Pro Chrysotile simply cannot believe the considerable efforts being expended by anti-asbestos activists to prevent the Jeffrey chrysotile mine in Asbestos from opening. Not satisfied with having recently pontificated from the heights of their "medical wisdom" to representatives of the Conférence régionale des élus de l'Estrie (elected officials), without ever making the essential distinction between fibres (chrysotile vs. amphiboles) or their degree of dangerousness, these ban-chrysotile activists, led by medical militants and the Rideau Institute, are continuing their media show, this time with an Asian delegation.
As stated by the spokesperson for the Mouvement Pro Chrysotile, Mr Serge Boislard: "The pathetic determination of some militants of the anti-chrysotile lobby in Canada and Quebec is reaching new heights. With no new science-based arguments to share, they choose to prey on emotions and perceptions, playing to the media and taking advantage of a clear bias for their cause on the part of some members of the media."
The Mouvement Pro Chrysotile reiterated that eliminating production of Canadian chrysotile would have no effect on global consumption, nor on consumption in Asian countries or the many other user countries. This fibre is essential for the construction of the sanitary infrastructures that are indispensable for the development of these countries. Canada provides less than 10% of the chrysotile used in the world. If it stopped producing chrysotile tomorrow, Russia, Kazakhstan and Brazil would pick up the slack.
So why do these activists persist in their efforts to stop the mine in Asbestos from opening? From all appearances, they are trying to push Canada, a credible and responsible country in matters of health and security, into the camp of countries with bans. This is even more absurd in view of the fact that Canada and Quebec have been leaders in the safe and responsible use of chrysotile for the past 25 years, and share their expertise in the field with numerous consuming countries. Beyond its "good conscience" in the area of safe and responsible use, Canada plays an essential role in providing information, awareness and training.
"Rather than involving themselves in an internal debate over the development of Quebec's natural resources, why didn't members of the Asian delegation ask political leaders in their own countries to adopt and enforce strict safe-use measures, not only for chrysotile, but for all the alternative fibres and products, whose safety has not been demonstrated?" asked Mr. Boislard. "It's easy to preach to others and to act the victim rather than dealing with what's happening in their own countries. However, it would be more responsible to look clearly at the scientific evidence available to the international community, to use what is certainly a dangerous product in a controlled manner, when it has been proven that it is possible to use it safely, and most of all, to demand the necessary studies to demonstrate the safety of alternative substances, fibres and products and require that they be controlled in the workplace."
Reiterating its support for the underground mining project at the Jeffrey Mine, the Mouvement Pro Chrysotile invites the Asian delegation to familiarize itself with the studies that clearly demonstrate the difference between chrysotile and amphiboles, their respective levels of biopersistence and the different degrees of health risk associated with them. "This is a scientific debate that will not be helped in any way by sensationalism, which is something science tends generally to shy away from," concluded Mr. Boislard.
On another front, the Mouvement Pro Chrysotile wonders who is picking up the tab for this international anti-asbestos crusade.
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Source: Mouvement Pro Chrysotile
Contact: Serge Boislard (819) 879-5558