QUEBEC ASBESTOS INDUSTRY
Canadian asbestos co. eyes Third World nations
as U.S. and European markets dry up
Quebec CEO invests his company's hopes for a future in asbestos industry
exports to developing, unregulated nations.
Weitz & Luxenberg represents clients in the United States and Canada
with lung cancer, mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases.Our
lawyers have protected the legal rights of asbestos-injured workers since 1986.
And in that time the firm's mesothelioma lawyers have won
several billion dollars in verdicts and
settlements for clients injured by occupational asbestos exposure.
December 29, 2009 - Four decades after Canada’s asbestos boom, it is hard to
imagine a more dramatically changed business environment for selling asbestos,
now recognized by more than 40 nations as a dangerous toxin to be avoided.
The Canadian and U.S markets have collapsed, and an asbestos ban across the
European Union has been in place for more than a decade.
Though most nations have turned a cold shoulder to asbestos, some countries in the Third World
still import it.
To replace lost markets, one man has turned his eyes to developing
nations in an effort to help rescue Quebec’s Jeffrey asbestos mine. Bernard Coulombe,
CEO of the Jeffrey mine in Asbestos, Quebec, said he has big plans for
exporting asbestos to Third World countries, where regulations governing worker
health safety are lax or even nonexistent.
"If everything goes well – and everything has to go well – we will be working
in the underground mine and starting to produce in 2010. I can tell you, not
just the Indian customers, but the big users of the world – Mexico, Venezuela,
Pakistan, Vietnam. They're waiting for us."
The surprise is that Coulombe believes the mine has a future, at all. "We
have 200 million tonnes of proven ore reserves. It's good for the next 50
years," he said.
The next six months will be critical in determining whether Coulombe can
execute his plan to kick-start a Canadian industry presumed to be at death's
“The marketplace is crying for chrysotile,” he says of his flourishing client
base in India, Vietnam and Indonesia,
where asbestos-cement sheets and roofing are seen by local advocates as a huge
social benefit to the poor and needy. “I have a letter of interest from 15 of my
biggest customers asking me for volume.”
It’s quite a stretch to consider asbestosis or mesothelioma to be a social benefit for the
poor and needy. What advocates are slow to acknowledge is that thousands of
people die from asbestos-related cancers every year; 3,000 annually in the
United States alone.
Asbestos law firm for Canadian residents
Many residents of Canada have come forward to say their work environment led
to a diagnosis of mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer from asbestos products
made in the U.S.
If this has been your experience, our asbestos lawyers may be able to help you
receive compensation for your health problems.
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