Canadian Environmental Health Atlas

Understanding Our Environment is Key to Promoting Health and Preventing Disease

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Key Points

Asbestos

• Asbestos is a mineral that releases tiny health-harming fibres during the mining
   process and when used in construction and manufacturing.

• When we inhale or ingest asbestos fibres they enter our lungs and can cause
   disability and disease many years later.

• Asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma are both associated with asbestos exposure.

• Although many workers in Canada were exposed regularly to asbestos fibres in the
   past, much has been done to remove this hazard from homes and workplaces.

• Canada is the world’s second largest exporter of asbestos and continues to sell the
   mineral to developing countries that may not have the capacity to handle the mineral
   in ways that prevent harm.