CANADA – Anti-asbestos lobbyists are standing up to the government, claiming that former Canadian politicians, ambassadors and bureaucrats left their morals at the door 20 years ago when they successfully lobbied to prevent the hazardous mineral from being banned in the United States.

Laurie Kazan-Allen of the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat, a group based in Britain, said that, “as a consequence of the legal and political actions mounted by Canadian interest, a further 300,000 tons of Canadian asbestos was used in the United States and vast amounts of asbestos-containing products were incorporated into the United States infrastructure.”

Ms. Kazan-Allen obtained documents from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prove that former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney lobbied then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, a friend of his, in the mid-1980s about the EPA’s plan to ban asbestos.

In addition, the documents also claim former Quebec’s premier Robert Bourassa raised Quebec’s concerns about the ban with U.S. trade officials at a meeting in Washington in 1986. Ms. Kazan-Allen said a number of government officials were also pushing the asbestos file in the United States. “While the industry fronted the attack, financial support and political assistance from Quebec and Ottawa underpinned the incursion of Canada’s asbestos foot soldiers into U.S. territory,” said Kazan-Allen.

Michaela Keyserlingk of Canada’s Voices of Asbestos Victims explained that people knew at the time that asbestos was hazardous and led to several diseases, and their actions are inexcusable. “This isn’t how our human affairs should be governed,” she said.  Winnipeg MP Pat Martin shares the sentiment, arguing that promoting the export of asbestos was morally wrong. “It’s the height of hypocrisy that we’re removing all of the asbestos from the Parliament buildings because no MP should be exposed to a single fibre,” said Martin. “But we are dumping as much as 200,000 tons per year into developing and underdeveloped countries where health and safety protocols are minimal or non-existent.” As of now, both Ottawa and the provincial government in Quebec continue to promote the use of asbestos.

Breathing in asbestos can lead to a number of diseases, including the fatal mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart and chest cavities. It can take decades for the cancer to manifest symptoms, and unfortunately, many patients don’t get the treatment they need in time. Some patients don’t even seek medical attention because the symptoms may be so mild that they don’t cause them to be alarmed.

Although there are treatments available for mesothelioma, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, sadly, there is currently no cure for mesothelioma. If you or a loved one are suffering with mesothelioma or believe you have been exposed to asbestos, contact a mesothelioma lawyer near you for help. You may be eligible to receive a large compensation for your pain and suffering and your mesothelioma attorney will see to it that you get it.

Mesothelioma attorneys work diligently to get you the medical attention and money damages you deserve after having been exposed to asbestos. They will investigate your employment history in order to determine who is responsible for your disease, and once discovered, they will make sure the guilty party is held accountable for their negligence.

As an asbestos victim, you may be entitled to millions of dollars in compensation and benefits. Call today to schedule a consultation with a leading team of mesothelioma lawyers near you to discuss your options and file a claim.