Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 179

Words: 1056

Pages: 5

Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 11/14/2012 07:05 PM

Report This Essay

Resolved that Canada should continue to mine asbestos if there continues to be an international demand for the product and it is an economically viable business for companies operating in Canada.


Asbestos is a natural mineral and is strong enough to resist high temperatures and chemical reactions. Being a poor conductor, it insulates well against heat and electricity. When treated, asbestos crystals become long, flexible, silky fibers, so it can be made into a wide variety of forms. It can be spun into yarn, woven into cloth or braided into rope. Asbestos can also be added to materials as diverse as cotton and cement to provide more support and stability.

Asbestos has been used in hundreds of applications and products over the past 4,500 years. The ancient Greeks wove it into oil lamp wicks, funeral shrouds and ceremonial tablecloths. During the 1800s, it insulated the hot engines, boilers and piping that powered the Industrial Revolution.

Until the 1980s, asbestos was used in office buildings, public buildings and schools. A good insulator, it insulated hot water heating systems, and hence was put into walls and ceilings as insulation against fire and sound. It has also been generously used in transportation and electrical appliances, in combination with other materials.

When people learnt that regular exposure to asbestos on the job involved health risks, they became more concerned about exposure to asbestos in offices and schools, and all asbestos products caught their attention.

This concern has led to a distinct decline in asbestos in Canada. The use of asbestos insulation in buildings and heating systems has almost disappeared. Residential use, for roofing, flooring and appliances, is still decreasing.

While alternative products are being developed to replace asbestos, products sold today containing asbestos are regulated under the Hazardous Products Act. Asbestos can be used safely, and public concern has led to improved product...