MONTREAL, March 23 /CNW Telbec/ - "We support the safe, responsible and controlled use of this fibre, here and in any other countries that use it, because that is the most promising option, as well the most stringent."
That is the key message delivered today by Mr. Clément Godbout of the Chrysotile Institute on behalf of the members of a newly created group, who all say they agree with the safe, responsible and controlled use of chrysotile fibre, and hope this policy will continue to receive support.
For the group's members, safe, responsible and controlled use implies in particular the establishment of a measured and responsible approach to its use. This approach should be based on the most recent and objective scientific data, as well as current technological expertise.
This responsible, safe and controlled use also calls for the commitment of suppliers and users to true transparency with regard to potential health risks and the possible and probable consequences of inappropriate use.
In addition, this approach requires responsible and accountable governance, as well as good work practices through the promotion of the establishment of effective workplace health and safety standards.
"Once again," Mr. Godbout added, "everyone must make the clear distinction, as do governments and numerous international organizations, between chrysotile asbestos and amphibole asbestos, which is no longer on the market."
On this front, there is disagreement with the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (Workers' Compensation) with regard to the information it publishes on "asbestos" exposure that does not make this distinction, attributing more than 90 deaths per year to asbestos. "It's hard to believe that all those deaths are exclusively attributable to chrysotile!'
Supporting documents. Mr. Godbout and the group's members reject the arguments of the groups and individuals opposed to the use of chrysotile, basing their argument on documents from the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization among others.
"We are submitting documents from these organizations that are excerpted from their official positions, proving that the opponents of chrysotile are wrong when they claim that these organizations have opted for the global banning of chrysotile," said Mr. Godbout.
Finally, the group's members say they are very concerned with the ban on chrysotile that is being called for by anti-asbestos groups here in Québec. In their view, this ban would have devastating effects on jobs and economic development in certain regions of Québec, while not changing anything in terms of the marketing and use of this fibre in the rest of the world. They are convinced that it will continue to be used for a long time to come.
"We are talking here about at least 700 direct jobs and approximately 2 000 indirect jobs," concluded Mr. Godbout. "What will happen to those regions? To the quality of life in their communities? To the people who lose their jobs?"
SOURCE CHRYSOTILE INSTITUTE
For further information: For further information: Réjeanne Laplante, Chrysotile Institute, (514) 877-9797; Source: Chrysotile Institute