I recently heard from a friend of mine about an event in my hometown of Sarnia, Ontario. Linda Reinstein is the Co-founder/President/CEO of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and she recently travelled to Sarnia to participate in the Walk to Remember Victims of Asbestos.
Sarnia is the home of the Chemical Valley. I grew up there and learned my most important safety lessons from my father, a maintenance and operations supervisor with Imperial Oil. I worked in “the plants” and studied Industrial Hygiene Technology at Lambton College. During my home, work and academic education asbestos was a big deal. It had been used in the industry as an insulator and could be found in quite a variety of other building materials. There were also a number of insulation manufacturers in Sarnia over the years.
In the last 10 years, there has been much discussion around the legacy of asbestos used in Sarnia’s workplaces. Unfortunately, too many of my fellow Sarnian’s have fallen victim to asbestos related diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. On the weekend, people came from far and wide to remember and honour those who lost their lives to asbestos. Here are some links to more information about the Sarnia Asbestos Walk:
In the safety world, Sarnia is a bit of a paradox. It’s large petrochemical industry is known for its incredibly sophisticated health and safety systems. Sarnia is also known as the home of an asbestos tragedy.
Cause safety to happen today in your community…Andrew…a Canadian Safety Guy
My friend Linda in the US recently tweeted about this rant from Rick Mercer regarding Canada’s export of asbestos to developing nations.
I think Rick get’s it right, for the most part. With great effort and discipline, asbestos can be handled safely. In Canada it’s handled safely as we’re trying to get it out of our homes, workplaces and public buildings. It makes sense that we at least tell people about its hazards….
Check out Rick’s Rant…
Here are a few links for you to do some research on your own: