Parliamentary members who belong to Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) are calling on the federal government to shut down the country’s controversial asbestos business and “scrap horrifying regulations” that allow the use of the cancer-causing mineral in children’s toys and other products, reports the Globe and Mail.
According to a recent article, MPs Pat Martin and Libby Davies shared with other members of parliament test results of a recent study by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization that points to the use of the toxic material in children’s toys and widely-used household items. One toy in particular – the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit – has been especially popular in Canada during this holiday season.
“Asbestos is the greatest industrial killer the world has ever known and you would have to be insane to put asbestos in children’s toys,” Mr. Martin said. “It would be like putting razor blades in Halloween apples. So what does that say about a government that would allow it?”
Mr. Martin also stressed that new regulations under Canada’s Hazardous Materials Act allow asbestos-laden products “used by a child in education or play.”
The party has requested that Health Minister Tony Clement order the testing of toys to determine whether they contain asbestos. MP Martin also requested that the government, primarily run by the Tory party, repeal the current legislation and ban asbestos from all products in Canada.
The Conservative government has fallen prey to “aggressive industry lobbyists” and is keeping its head in the sand about the dangers of asbestos, the NDP charged.
Japan, Australia, South Africa and all countries of the European Union have banned asbestos, Ms. Davies pointed out.
“There is no safe level of asbestos,” she said. “There’s no question that it’s a carcinogen.
“We are exporting human misery at a staggering rate. Canada should be joining the international community to stop the production of asbestos and its export.”
Canada current exports about 200,000 tons of asbestos annually. Most of it goes to third world countries.