City of Calgary taking asbestos scare far too lightly

    Labour wants immediate measures taken

    EDMONTON, July 18 /CNW/ - The Alberta Federation of Labour today accused
the City of Calgary of treating the discovery of asbestos-contaminated asphalt
throughout its road system far too casually.
    "Asbestos is one of the worst workplace killers in Canada," says AFL
President Gil McGowan, "and as far as labour is concerned, no amount is safe
for human exposure."
    McGowan points out that under Part IV of the Occupational Health and
Safety Code, there is a section detailing how to deal with asbestos
contamination, including measures for both worker and public safety in
circumstances where asbestos may be released.
    "Calgary should not be dismissing this as something that can be dealt
with by a study later in the summer," says McGowan. "Inhalation of asbestos
dust and fibre can lead to asbestosis, pleural plaques, lung cancer and
mesothelioma, a malignant cancer whose only known cause is exposure to
    "Calgary should be taking exactly the same precautions that the City of
Toronto is taking under similar circumstances," advises McGowan, "including
limiting workers' exposure during road construction with hazmat suits, keeping
dust down, and ensuring that citizens know the risks and counter-measures that
should be taken."
    "I also think that every other municipality in the province engaging in
major roadway construction and resurfacing should take immediate steps to
ensure that their projects are either asbestos-free or being done with
necessary safety precautions."

For further information:

For further information: Gil McGowan, AFL President at (780) 483-3021
(office) or (780) 218-9888 (cell)

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Alberta Federation of Labour

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