Canada moves to block listing of asbestos as ‘hazardous’

Canada told the world Wednesday it opposes placing limits on the export of chrysotile asbestos — a “bombshell” expected to derail international efforts to list the mineral as hazardous.

The head of the Canadian delegation at a United Nations summit in Geneva made the statement late Wednesday after a consensus was emerging to label the known carcinogen mined in Quebec as hazardous.

If chrysotile asbestos is listed on Annex III of the United Nations’ Rotterdam Convention, “Prior Informed Consent” would be required before countries could export the mineral. After being informed of the hazards, developing countries that import asbestos could refuse to accept the potentially cancer-causing material if they believe they could not handle it safely.

Until Wednesday’s declaration, the Canadian delegation had remained silent — fueling speculation from anti-asbestos campaigners that Canada was letting a handful of other……

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