Asbestos protests take place around the worldPeople around the world are protesting the use of asbestos, as a new loan to expand a mine in Asbestos, Canada, has brought attention to the deadly fiber.
According to the Montreal Gazette, protesters were organized outside the Canadian consulates in Hong Kong and Seoul, South Korea. In Hong Kong, protesters called for a ban on asbestos exports to Asia from Quebec's mines.
"Hong Kong itself is in the midst of an asbestos disease epidemic," said a news release by the Asia Monitor Resource Center. "Many workers continue to die every year due to lung cancers and mesothelioma - a deadly lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Due to its long latency period, sometimes over 30 years, the asbestos-related diseases will continue to kill exposed populations for many years more."
Similar protests were held in Washington, D.C., New York City, Brussels and in cities across California, according to the news source.
"After a century of knowledge concerning the health effects of asbestos and its devastating trail of disease and death around the world, such an initiative [allowing the mine expansion] by Canada is a giant misstep backwards," Richard Lemen, former Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S., told the news source.
Canada's Premier Jean Charest continues to support the government's long standing policy promoting the safe use of asbestos.
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