Partner Post: The Baie Verte Chrysotile Asbestos Mine

Final Report Confirms Asbestos Dangers

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Written by James P. Nevin   

The Final Report of the Registry of The Former Workers of The Baie Verte, Canada Chrysotile Asbestos Mine has been released. The mine was relatively unique in that it did not open until 1963, long after the hazards of asbestos were understood by the owners and management. Therefore it utilized advanced methods to suppress the miners’ exposure to asbestos dust.

side chest xray

Despite those methods, in 1976, Dr. Irving Selikoff did a study of the miners and found that 10% already had asbestosis. He also predicted that longer latency periods would result in excess cancers. As a result of Dr. Selikoff’s findings, the mine instituted even better asbestos suppression methods but remained open until the mid-1990s. Most of the workers spent their entire careers working at that mine.

In the late 2000s, as more and more of the miners started to get asbestos-related cancers, the Union demanded that a registry be created to assess the scope and to provide benefits. The registry assessed 1003 former Baie Verte Asbestos Mineworkers (also known as Advocate Mines, Ltd.).

As of 2013, it has been determined that 225 workers developed an asbestos-related disease, with 2 developing mesothelioma, 37 lung cancer, 7 laryngeal cancer, 57 asbestosis, 66 pleural disease, and 56 gastrointestinal cancers. These numbers are dramatically higher than the background rate of those diseases in the general population.

This is the latest study of chrysotile asbestos miners, further demonstrating that all types of asbestos fibers are deadly, and providing further support for a global ban on all types of asbestos. Despite its use being banned in Canada, Canada, Russia, and China still today export massive quantities of asbestos to Third World countries for use in building products.

Read the Registry of The Former Workers of The Baie Verte Asbestos Mine (Final Report)

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