Asbestos-Related Deaths Not Declining as Expected

Asbestos warning sign

Asbestos was formally banned in Canada in 2018, but the abundance of the carcinogenic material and an extended latency period between exposure and contracting such deadly diseases as mesothelioma means asbestos exposure will continue to kill workers for years to come.

“This is tragic,” said Ray Anthony, executive director of Saskatchewan’s occupational health and safety division. “We know we won’t see the fruits of our labor for probably 25 to 40 years, but we’ve got to move forward through educating workers and inspecting workplaces.”

Researchers at CAREX Canada, a national surveillance project that estimates exposure to toxic substances in workplace and community environments, estimate that roughly the same number of Canadians are exposed to asbestos in workplaces today as in 1970, though at lower exposure levels.