Structural Steel

Removing Asbestos to Cure Cancer

Every year, thousands of Canadians are diagnosed with Mesothelioma and most of these cases are a direct result of exposure to asbestos.

We’ve all heard of the dangers of asbestos before. Tuning into almost any show on HGTV will show you the harsh realities of just how rampant this problem is across North America and the expenses that come with treating it rather than preventing it.

There is no cure for Mesothelioma and the outlook isn’t good. It’s cancer that kills and despite significant progress by researchers and doctors around the world, it is still killing men, women and children every day.

Industrial workplaces are breeding grounds for asbestos. As often as we worry about it in our homes, the fact is many of the victims of Mesothelioma contracted it due to high asbestos levels in their place of employment. Typically it takes long-term exposure to put someone at risk, so those of us working from our trucks are far less susceptible, but for the ones in the office or shop, the chances are extraordinarily high.

As we move around the office, the asbestos is disturbed, and small fibres invisible to the naked eye begin to float around. As we breathe, we inhale its poison or swallow the fibres. As the years pass, the strands remain in the body and begin to change the body’s biology causing genetic damage that can lead to cancer.

There is no smell, taste or scent that is noticed and although you may begin to feel sick, it often comes across as an ordinary virus or bacterial infection.

As the fibres become trapped in the lining of your lungs, remnants float into the abdominal cavity and stick like glue to the heart putting your entire body at risk.

Thankfully, this is one cancer that can be prevented in many cases. If you work in an industrial environment, the best thing you can do is push for your employer to test for asbestos regularly. The cost of testing is far less than the price of having to remove asbestos, not to mention the cost of the employee’s health and risk for the company’s bottom line.

Unfortunately, some employers just won’t pay for this testing. Whether it be a cost they worry is unnecessary or they’re simply a bad employer, it’s important to take this factor into account if you are in an at-risk workplace. This is something worth taking up with your union rep if you’re unionized. Or, noting for future use should someone develop malignant Mesothelioma.

You have the right to be safe and protected while at work. There is no law against you advocating for your health and safety. Contact your local Health & Safety board, the employment standards branch for your Province or even the media if there is evidence of asbestos. Websites like Glassdoor are ideal for warning future employees as are organizations like the Better Business Bureau.

It is your employer’s job to protect you at work. It is your job to tell them when you need that protection. Test for asbestos today and prevent cancer. If everyone tested for asbestos, we could stop Mesothelioma. Join the fight today!

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Until next week,

Bonnie Pankratz