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Asbestos Mining and Mesothelioma Cancer

Updated on September 26, 2012
Mesothelioma Cancer
Mesothelioma Cancer

Banning of Asbestos Mining

The maple leaf nation, Canada is terminating asbestos mining which it had once defended making the country notorious in international circles. A part of the silicate mineral family, Asbestos is used in building construction and can cause cancer if inhaled. Asbestos can cause a deadly disease known as Mesothelium. Mesothelioma cancer is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos resulting in transforming cells protecting internal organs of our body.

The fifth largest producer of asbestos, Canada’s production is 150,000 tonnes annually . 90 % of this is exported whose value is worth $90 million. The sale of the substance is not permitted in Canada but a huge chunk is exported to developing nations. In fact, various forms of asbestos are also banned in most parts of Europe.

The country will provide a grant of $50 million for helping the towns dependent on this industry to diversify. The Public Health Association of Canada has appreciated the government’s decision as it believed that Asbestos mining harms the health of the workers.

The European Union places Chrysotile asbestos in the list of hazardous substances under the United Nation’s treaty called the Rotterdam Convention whereas Canada has been objecting to it. But the North American giant does not plan to block the international efforts for adding this to the list anymore.

Wide reaching effects of Asbestos consumption

It is estimated that over 1, 00,000 people worldwide die from this form of cancer according to the World Health Organization. Even though, there is a compensation provided by the government to those suffering from asbestos related lung cancer, over half of the people were compensated. Generally, people employed in construction, shipbuilding or factories that manufacture products containing asbestos are most likely to suffer from these diseases.

Types of Mesothelioma

The symptoms of Mesothelioma range from chest and back pain to shortness of breath. Other symptoms include weight loss, difficulty in sleeping and loss of appetite. But the worst part about the disease is that it is not detected between the age groups of 20 to 50.

While Pleural Mesothelioma is the lining of the lung and represents 70 % of the mesothelioma cases, 30 % of the cases are Peritoneal, which is lining of the abdomen.

The other diseases include Small-cell Lung Cancer and Asbestosis. The small-cell lung cancer is a rare type of cancer which forms part of 15% of lung cancer cases. On the other hand, the formation of scar tissues in the lungs is known as Asbestosis.

How to deal with Mesothelioma

The deadly disease can be either treated by Chemotherapy which can reduce the size of tumors or else through radiation which kills cancerous cells. Some of these treatments may be painful but ensuring proper treatment can ensure faster recovery. The support of family and friends can go a long way in your recovery.


Miners in Canada have increasingly been diagnosed with extreme fatigue and shortness of breath. The much due step by the Canadian government may ensure that less lives are lost in the future due to the harmful effects of asbestos mining.


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