The Chrysotile Institute, a pro-asbestos lobbying group, currently funded by the Quebec government, will be closing after notifying the Canadian federal government of its plan to dissolve, as reported by The Montreal Gazette this weekend. The Montreal-based Chrysotile Institute issued the notice in the Canada Gazette — the government’s official publication for announcing new laws and other public information.
The Chrysotile Institute, established in 1984, promotes the “safe” use of chrysotile asbestos on behalf of Canada’s asbestos mining industry. The Chrysotile Institute has extolled its point of view that as long as asbestos is handled in a safe and controlled manner, it causes little risk to workers.
The majority of asbestos mined in Canada is exported abroad to developing countries where asbestos regulations are less stringent. Chrysotile asbestos has been shown in the scientific literature to cause a variety of asbestos diseases and the overall evidence suggests there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Over 50 countries have banned asbestos use. The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide, more than 100,000 people die from asbestos-related illnesses, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis every year.