Presence of chrysotile in the air at Thetford Mines - The Public Health
analysis confirms the conclusions of several other studies: very low risk to
the population!

MONTREAL, Dec. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Public Health Directorate of the Chaudière-Appalaches region has just released to the media and general public its expected report and a backgrounder on the risks associated with the presence of asbestos in the air. According to the results of this in-depth analysis of two studies on the presence of asbestos fibres in the air at Thetford Mines, there would be a very low risk to the town's residents of developing lung cancer or mesothelioma associated with the level of exposure detected.

In order to properly appreciate a risk, it must be compared with other risks. To that end, Public Health reports that for the population of Thetford Mines over a period of 35 years, there would be more than 1 000 deaths from tobacco-related lung cancer, 100 from traffic accidents and only one from asbestos in the air. The report also emphasizes the importance of specifying that the asbestos fibres in the air are mainly chrysotile, a fibre recognized as being less dangerous than other types of asbestos.

As indicated by the President of the Chrysotile Institute, Mr. Clément Godbout: "This report confirms several studies on the low level of risk associated with low exposure to chrysotile, a fibre that is quite different from amphiboles in its chemical composition and its biopersistance. It also supports recent scientific data to the effect that at controlled levels of exposure, no measurable risk to health is detected."

"In the current context where the anti-asbestos lobby is pulling out all the stops, we recall an article that recently appeared in La Presse, claiming that the Government of Québec was preparing to review its position in support of the safe use of chrysotile in light of the conclusions of this report. But the conclusions we are seeing today are completely the opposite of the information provided by that newspaper on October 5, 2009. This is another good example of alarmism, a favourite weapon of the anti-asbestos lobby, which unfortunately often has too much influence over the media and tends to feed perceptions rather than facts,"Mr. Godbout continued.

About the Institute

Created in 1984 as an initiative of the governments of Canada and Québec, the Canadian chrysotile industry and the labour unions involved, the Chrysotile Institute works to promote and encourage the implementation of Canadian and Québec policy on the controlled and safe use of chrysotile and to encourage, everywhere that chrysotile is used, the establishment of conditions consistent with the requirements of Convention No. 162 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on its safe use.

As an information and reference centre on the safe use of chrysotile in terms of workplace health and safety, public health and the environment, the Institute organizes seminars, conferences, information sessions and expert missions. It publishes newsletters and participates in numerous international fora.


For further information: For further information: Mr. Clément Godbout, (514) 877-9797; Source: Chrysotile Institute

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