Canada Asbestos Mesothelioma Injury Claims



Asbestos Mesothelioma Injury Claim Lawyer in Canada working to get compensation for Canadians with Mesothelioma or other asbestos related cancer from US Asbestos Trusts.  We only charge a fee when we get compensation for our clients.

ASBESTOS EXPOSURE IS KNOWN TO BE DEADLY

Deadly Asbestos Fibers

 

Attention Canadian Asbestos Victims and family members: Compensation for those who suffer and the families of those who have died in recent years from serious asbestos related cancer diseases from asbestos exposure is available to our clients in Canada.  Some Canadians are eligible for provincial Workers Compensation benefits and with some exceptions have a choice on whether to accept it or make a claim or retain a lawyer potentially for greater compensation.  It is more complicated for Federal employees.  It becomes even more complicated when a person has worked with asbestos exposure in more than one province or in other countries.  You have probably seen plenty of confusing Asbestos Cancer and Mesothelioma ads from lawyers in the US promising big compensation if you call their toll free numbers.  When you do call they often do not understand your situation or you may not even get through because many US toll free numbers can not be reached from Canada.  If you are in Canada, you do not need to hire a lawyer in the USA to make a claim. You can have a Canadian lawyer represent you to make a claim for compensation for asbestos related diseases and get the same compensation and probably more. A Canadian lawyer can investigate your situation and advise you on the complicated choices you may have to make including Workers Compensation. The US lawyers have very little information about Canadian Workers Compensation entitlement and about Canadian work sites known for asbestos and generally do not try as hard to get compensation for Canadian clients.  Some leading US law firms refer Canadian clients to our firm to handle the claim.  A Canadian lawyer who works on asbestos cases can do the investigation needed to get compensation from the most sources.  There are very few lawyers in Canada who do handle these claims and for our firm it is now the largest part of our work.  Unlike some other Canadian firms we do not simply refer cases to American law firms in exchange for a referral fee.  We do the work.  As there are few lawyers in Canada doing this, we work on a national level with clients in the Territories and all Provinces.  We check carefully on each claim to find as many asbestos exposure sources as we can to maximize the available compensation. We cross reference claims from our own growing data base of Canadian asbestos hot spots.

Miskin Law Offices, based in Ontario, represents clients all across Canada in making claims to American asbestos trusts. This is not a lawsuit and you do not go to court to get compensation. They are essentially applications for compensation to Bankruptcy funds set up when almost all makers of asbestos products were put out of business by the many claims made against them based on serious harm caused by their products. Applications for our clients are made to many different asbestos trusts and our clients get compensation from multiple sources. We are familiar with Canadian law and workplaces. We understand how the Canadian system works and have many advantages in representing Canadian clients. We are familiar from case experience with Canadian asbestos use history and where known asbestos hazards exist.  Exposure to asbestos gives rise to a claim if the person exposed becomes ill from it even many years later. The asbestos trusts are all based in the United States and we sometimes work with American asbestos specialist lawyers to advance some of our cases with the contingency fee split between our firm and the US law firm.   Our clients do not pay more to have both Canadian and American  representation.  If the American lawyers we consult think they can not help you we do not just give up.  We investigate further. If at the end of our investigation of your claim we conclude that we can not help you there is no charge to you for our services or even expenses. We otherwise charge a percentage of your recovery which is called a contingency fee.  This fee is usually one third of the amount recovered.  For the Manville Trust the fee is by regulation set at 25% of the recovery.

THE DANGERS OF ASBESTOS:  We are working to build awareness of the dangers of asbestos and the specific disease of Mesothelioma through our website Asbestos Facts Canada .  Asbestos is a mineral that has been used as an insulating and fireproofing material for many years in a great number of products and in many buildings.  It is still present in many older buildings such as hospitals and schools and is safe if undisturbed and poses a serious hazard if fibers are released into the air.  It has been mined in various parts of the world including Quebec where there is a Town called Asbestos.  In the September 4, 2012 election the Quebec Liberal Government of Jean Charest which promised a loan to reopen the asbestos mine was defeated by the Parti Quebecois which opposed asbestos. Federal Government support for continued asbestos mining and exporting asbestos to the world has been a very controversial issue. Since the 2012 Quebec election the loan to the mine has been cancelled so it will not reopen and Federal Government support for the asbestos industry has also ended. The 2014 Quebec election which brought back a Liberal majority Government will not bring back the asbestos mines or asbestos exports.  The use of asbestos is banned in Canada and most developed countries. Here is a link to an Operation Maple video about Canada’s export of asbestos including an interview with Murray Miskin:Asbestos Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma Asbestos Cancer Compensation

Murray Miskin in Asbestos Mesothelioma Video

It has been known for many years that asbestos is dangerous to the health of people exposed to it especially when fibers are inhaled and get into the lungs. it can stay in the lungs for many years without a person knowing it is there. There are serious long term consequences of exposure to asbestos.  Some of the most serious ones have only recently started to commonly appear.  Mesothelioma was once considered a rare condition but sadly it has now become very common. The diseases from asbestos include asbestosis, certain forms of lung cancer and the condition of mesothelioma.  Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining (known as the mesothelium) of the lungs or another organ. Mesothelioma can develop 30-50 years after even just a little exposure to asbestos.  Mesothelioma is appearing more commonly because it takes a long time to develop and it was not always diagnosed properly in the past. Mesothelioma can only be caused by asbestos and maximum compensation is available for this horrific and generally fatal disease.

The very serious diseases affect people who have worked with asbestos, had loose fibers in their workplace (sometimes from or after asbestos removal) and people who have been exposed by their family members who may have come home from a hard day of work with asbestos on their bodies or their clothes.  We have worked on tragic cases where children of parents exposed to asbestos have developed Mesothelioma and can be compensated.

Asbestos Compensation for Canadians is Available

If a loved one has developed one of these conditions in Canada or the USA and is seriously ill or has died due to asbestos exposure it can be proven with medical records and compensation will follow.  Doctors should be able to confirm causation by asbestos when the diagnosis is made. A biopsy is most effective. Compensation is available for Canadians from a number of U.S. trusts set up for that purpose.  This compensation is only open to people who legally live in or are citizens of Canada and the United States. To maximize compensation we need to investigate each case and know the source or sources of exposure to asbestos to determine which manufacturers were involved and where claims may be placed. If a person is suffering from Mesothelioma we move quickly to get necessary information and documentation including affidavits to be sworn to maximize compensation. If a person has died from asbestos illness a number of years ago the available claims are limited by the delay in proceeding. Some of the asbestos trusts have longer time limits so it is worth checking if there is a positive diagnosis even if the death was long ago.

We do not handle claims related to removal of asbestos from homes or other properties nor do we sue employers for asbestos exposure or illness. We also do not take on cases involving fear of possible asbestos illness. We only handle cases involving people who have serious asbestos illness. Having “asbestos on the lungs” or pleural plaques may entitle a person to very small compensation but more importantly it means they are at risk for serious disease and should be monitored by their doctors regularly. We are not accepting pleural plaque claims due to the very limited amount of compensation.

Contact Miskin Law Offices

Contact the Miskin Law Offices in Ontario for information on making a claim for asbestos related diseases.  Email miskinlaw@yahoo.com or call 416-492-0989 from the Toronto area, one of our local numbers or toll free 877-428-8000 from anywhere in Canada or the United States. You can have us as your lawyers here in Canada and get compensation from the trusts set up to pay claims on behalf of the former asbestos manufacturers in the United States. Again we will investigate your possible claim with no cost on your part. If we can get you compensation our fees and expenses are fully paid from the compensation you receive.

We work hard to determine the source of asbestos exposure to maximize the available compensation funds. If we can prove a particular company’s products were used we can get compensation from the applicable trust (again it is not a lawsuit and you do not go to court).  Many people have no idea where they were exposed or do know but know little about the specific asbestos products.  There has to be significant illness diagnosed, not just fear of future illness to make a successful claim. Cases are handled with contingency fee agreements which include a one third fee.  That means you pay nothing until and unless money is received for your claims.  Settlements are in US dollars, which vary in value when converted to Canadian dollars. Now the US dollar is worth 10% more than the Canadian dollar.  We include the sales tax on legal fees in our share of the one third contingency fee so you will not pay any additional PST, GST or HST on a settlement.  Settlement amounts are also tax free for income tax purposes.

Often we can get clients compensation from more than one trust fund. We make sure to try all relevant asbestos trusts to maximize compensation.  Eligibility for multiple trust compensation is dependent on the source of the asbestos exposure. The more details you have on the source of asbestos and specific asbestos products and dates of exposure the more sources of compensation there are.  We are seeing some large cheques come in for our clients and faster processing of claims. If you are not eligible for Worker’s Compensation we can get you compensation so long as we can prove asbestos to be the cause of an illness or if there is a confirmed Mesothelioma diagnosis.  With confirmed Mesothelioma, that is not a problem.  The right to bring a claim may be taken away by receipt of or application for Workers Compensation Benefits so do let us know details of any WCB, Work Safe or WSIB claims made when you first contact us. DO NOT APPLY FOR WORKERS COMPENSATION FOR MESOTHELIOMA UNTIL YOU HAVE HAD LEGAL ADVICE FROM A LAWYER WHO UNDERSTANDS THE PROCESS AND IS INDEPENDENT OF THE WORKERS COMPENSATION BOARD OR ITS LAWYERS.  The Boards have brought U.S. claims for a number of Canadians through American law firms and where that is done we can not bring a claim. Sometimes we need consent from the Workers Compensation Board or from the employer who in some situations pays the benefits, before we can proceed. Compensation Boards keep all of the money that they recover from U.S. claims as reimbursement for what they paid to the injured worker and only pay the worker or their family the excess amount if there is any. Workers Compensation pays a contingency fee to the lawyers they use and also charges its own administrative fee from money it recovers. There is rarely if ever money that they will pay to the worker or the worker’s family from the asbestos trusts.  We are consulting with the Compensation Boards in different provinces to ensure that our clients actually receive maximum compensation from all sources. In some Provinces Workers’ Compensation Boards have allowed us to proceed directly for clients with claims to the asbestos funds where the Boards have rights to make those claims. Persons entitled to benefits from Alberta Workers Compensation do not have any right to make a separate claim for compensation. In Ontario we are claiming on behalf of families of victims and on behalf of School Boards with respect to illness from asbestos exposure in schools.

Murray Miskin has been a lawyer in Ontario practicing personal injury law for over 33 years and has worked on national and international injury claims.  Our experience gives us an edge in representing Canadians on asbestos claims. Murray Miskin has been familiar with asbestos and asbestos products since childhood as his father Nat Miskin was a Toronto plumber who worked with asbestos.  Murray’s oldest brother who also worked as a plumber developed an asbestos related cancer and is recovering from surgery.  Murray’s first work with Canadian asbestos injury claims was in 1979 at the Phelan, O’Brien law firm in Toronto as soon as he finished law school where he assisted Senior Counsel Brendan O’Brien with Canadian asbestos mine related litigation. We are settling many asbestos claims  now and getting compensation for our clients.  These are not lawsuits in court but are applications to compensation funds done with paper work and no personal appearances by clients. We will treat you and your family with compassion and respect and get you results without added stress or work on your part. If you have documentation of the medical condition and information on the source of asbestos exposure (especially type of asbestos product) that helps us get results more quickly. There is no advance fee or financial retainer required and there is no risk to the client. The lawyers are only paid from the funds collected with a regulated contingency fee from the recovery split between the lawyers working on the claim.

You may call our office at a local number or toll free nationally at 1-877-428-8000 and speak with Anna or Murray at about your situation.  For a speedy response seven days a week email details to Murray Miskin directly: miskinlaw@yahoo.com


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Yaz Yasmin Class Action Certified: What are the Next Steps?

Canadian Class Action

Canada Yaz and Yasmin Claims

 

Many individual law suits in the USA,  and Canadian Class Action lawsuits are in progress over the side effects of the two similar birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin. In Canada there are class action proceedings with the main one in Ontario now certified and allowed by the court to proceed.  The certification order was made in April of 2013 with appeals dismissed in September 2013 but still not formalized as of the end of June 2014.  Behind the scenes there may or may not be secret discussions moving the case towards settlement.  There is little doubt that eventually those who suffered harm from these drugs will get compensation.

Miskin Law Office is making claims for individual Canadians who are now in the class action.  If you have a claim you do not need to be specifically listed anywhere and can bring forward your claim when there is a settlement. You may also once certification is formalized proceed to make your own claim outside of the class action.  We expect that claimants  will have a choice to make soon on whether to be part of the class action and bound by ANY settlement of it or to proceed with an individual claim.  We will be advising our clients of their rights and considerations for that decision once the certification order is out giving the opportunity for people to opt out of the class action if they choose.  Here is some information on the nature of the claim against Bayer:

Serious side effects of Yaz and Yasmin include deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and very commonly loss of the gallbladder.   Those cases were being fought by the manufacturer Bayer in different US districts where they are co-ordinated in Multi District Litigation (MDLs). The courts in Illinois and Pennsylvania ordered  mediation to take place before cases were to go to trial in early 2012. In the mediation process Bayer agreed in early March 2012 to a settlement in 70  lawsuits.  This has progressed so that most cases are now settled.  There are now about 7,000 settlements of the most serious cases involving deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism in the USA in the range of $200,000 each for a total of about $1.5 Billion.  In the US there are still over 5,000 addition claims involving venous or arterial thromboembolism injury. Gallbladder cases have settled for much less.  Gallbladder cases in the US are settled at $2,000 dollars for gall bladder injury and $3,000 where the gall bladder is removed.  In Canada there is no settlement for any claims yet but settlements when they happen are generally much lower than they are in the US and so expectations on all cases should be lower.   As the US gall bladder cases are settling for small amounts we are more likely to see similar level settlements in Canada if payment is made on gall bladder cases.  Larger claims involving more serious harm are the ones which may be better served by leaving the class action where more extreme compromise may occur in a settlement.

We are hopeful that some progress will be made towards resolving claims in Canada following the decision giving certification to the Canadian Yaz and Yasmin Class Action lawsuit.  We are hoping they will settle gallbladder cases as well as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism cases as part of the likely future class action settlement. The greatest number of claims relate to gallbladder where nominal settlements if any should be expected in Canada.   The pills continue to be sold and to be very profitable for Bayer.  A recommendation to recall the drug was narrowly defeated by an advisory committee to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Bayer has changed its advertisements and product warnings since then so that it would be difficult to make a claim in a new case. This year in the UK and other countries stronger warnings are now given out with the product.  Once the product warning is sufficient there is less basis to make a claim if there is a negative result of using the product.  The Canadian class action is focussed on those who had adverse effects before there was a warning of the danger.   THE CANADIAN CLASS ACTION BASED IN ONTARIO HAS BEEN LIMITED TO CLAIMS FOR INCIDENTS UP TO NOVEMBER 30, 2011 SO IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM THAT CAME UP AFTER THAT DATE IT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE CLASS ACTION AND IT WOULD BE GOOD TO CONTACT A LAWYER IN YOUR OWN PROVINCE IMMEDIATELY TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS BY ISSUING A CLAIM. PERSONS COVERED BY THE CLASS ACTION MAY DO NOTHING AND REMAIN IN IT OR WHEN THEY ARE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY CHOOSE TO OPT OUT AND PURSUE AN INDIVIDUAL CLAIM.

Yaz or Yasmin can cause dehydration which causes an increase in the potassium levels (hyperkalemia) and a decrease in the sodium levels (hyponatremia) in the body.  As potassium acts as a key control in cardiac rhythm, this imbalance can cause hyperkalemia arrhythmias, which, in turn can cause blood clots and thrombotic events such as stroke or deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or heart attack. Dehydration is also a risk factor for kidney stones and gallbladder disease. While other birth control pills can also cause deep vein thrombosis and other thrombotic events, the cause of those effects are from the estrogen side of the equation. The thrombotic effects of Yaz and Yasmin are from the progesterin side. While it has long been accepted that high estrogen levels can cause these adverse events, the birth control pills Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella have been marketed as having low estrogen levels, thereby having a lower risk for thrombotic events. There have been several studies that have called this into question.
The Miskin Law firm is making claims related to these birth control drugs and working with the class action court proceedings that have been started in Ontario Canada. These proceedings take a long time to advance and they stop individual law suits from proceeding for now. An application for certification of the class action was heard in the Ontario court in late January 2013 before Justice D.S. Crane.  A decision was made  on April 15, 2013 to certify the class action.  The judge released reasons for decision where he rejected arguments against certifying the class action.  He expressed concern over the proposed timetable for proceedings and there have been further discussions before a formal certification order is actually given.  The decision was delayed in implementation as it was appealed by Bayer who on September 5, 2013 lost in court in its attempt for leave to appeal.  We are told that the details are almost complete for the certification terms to be issued in an order soon.  Steps in the class action now can not proceed until a formal court order of certification of the class action issues with more details.  Until then we are working to document our clients’ claims and we are being retained by new clients.  We are not the class action lawyers. We represent individual people to get them compensation both individually and through the class action process. Once there is certification by the court of the class action people will have a choice of claiming through it or trying to get more with special circumstances in an individual claim and we have written to our clients to explain the option to each of our clients. If you do not yet have a lawyer, contact us if you believe you have been harmed by Yaz or Yasmin birth control pills. Most importantly keep all evidence of prescriptions including receipts, pill bottles and summaries that your pharmacist can provide. If you think you have a claim email Murray Miskin directly: miskinlaw@yahoo.com

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Lipitor, Crestor and other Statin Drugs Increase Risk of Diabetes

Claims for harm from Statin Drugs

Lipitor, Crestor and other cholesterol reducing drugs can cause diabetes

Research has shown an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes among women using the very effective cholesterol reducing statin drugs.  The risk appears to be particularly high with post menopausal women who are of Asian or Caucasian ethnicity.  The statin drugs sold in Canada include Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Mevacor, Prevachol, Lescol and their generic equivalents. People who take a statin and who experience symptoms associated with increased blood sugar – severe frequent urination, thirst or hunger – should contact their doctor.

In February 2012 the US Food and Drug Administration required warnings of this risk and similar warnings have been required in Canada since January 2013.  In the US there are a number of individual law suits now being co-ordinated in Multi District Litigation (MDL).  In Canada there is one class action started in Quebec specific to Lipitor and there are expected to be others in other provinces soon.

Miskin Law Office has been studying this issue and we are now accepting clients from all over Canada who may have developed diabetes after starting the use of a statin drug whether it is Lipitor or one of the others. Miskin Law represents clients on claims on a contingency fee basis so there is no cost or risk to you. If you believe this may apply to you please email: miskinlaw@yahoo.com or call our office (Toll Free 1-877-428-8000).

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Murray Miskin and Personal Injury Law

1-416-492-0989

Miskin Law, 1-877-428-8000

In the Durham Region and Peterborough and the Kawarthas in Ontario there are a few currently practicing local lawyers who are knowledgable and experienced in personal injury law.  One of them is Murray Miskin.  Murray Miskin graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and started with the established Plaintiff personal injury firm Phelan, O’Brien in Toronto in 1979 first as an articling student and then as a lawyer until 1982.  He continued that type of work with the late Ed Futerman then of the Aiken, Capp firm from 1982 to 1985 before going on his own to serve the communities east of Toronto from offices in Whitby and Peterborough.  Murray Miskin has extensive jury and other trial experience going back to 1981.  Murray Miskin is a  lawyer who can advise people what to do in the confusing and competitive world of personal injury insurance legal claims.  Insurance law related to motor vehicle accidents in Ontario has grown more complicated over the years and there are few lawyers based in the local area with as much personal injury experience as Murray Miskin.  That experience is mostly put to use in mediation of personal injury cases but we continue to represent some clients in cases where we consider it appropriate. The Miskin Law Firm mainly works on national cases now and accepts clients from all Canadian Provinces and Territories.  When a person suffers an injury that causes harm, pain and suffering and financial losses or the death of a loved one it is hard to know where to turn.  We will help you find the way.

Many Toronto based law firms claim to be the best, the toughest, the most experienced and even the most compassionate to fight for you.  Any lawyer can advertise or establish an internet presence that will make you think they really the biggest and/or the best.  Who can you trust?  You need to decide and you can get a referral from someone you do trust  who knows somebody or who had a personal experience that was positive.  You may also hear negative remarks about certain lawyers which sometimes are fair and sometimes are not.  Many referrals are based on gossip, exaggerated success stories and partial information so do be careful when someone says they heard a certain lawyer is the best for any type of case.

The Miskin Law Office is here to help you.  We do not try to compete for motor vehicle accident injury claims as there are too many players out there who have bigger ad budgets than we do.  We do have the skill and the experience it takes to assess a personal injury claim and decide how best to proceed.  Murray Miskin has worked mainly on personal injury cases since graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1979 and has considerable experience from many trials.  It does take years to get to trial usually and there is much risk and expense involved.  Now Murray’s focus is on resolving claims sooner where possible through negotiation or mediation. We also handle a number of specialized claims on a national basis related to dangerous products such as asbestos and some prescription drugs class actions such as Vioxx, Lipitor, Yaz and Yasmin.  Sometimes we will handle an injury claim by ourselves and sometimes we will refer it to a bigger firm with more resources or bring in the bigger firm to assist us. Usually our clients want us to stay involved advising them and not just send them elsewhere. Sometimes it really is a major battle and to have a chance you need to bring in more resources than a small local law firm can offer on its own.  When we do involve another law firm the legal fees are shared and do not increase for the client.  If you have a good claim law firms will compete to handle it on a contingency fee basis.  That means that you do not pay the lawyer until and unless they get you money and they then take an agreed upon percentage for the work they do.

When you have an injury claim call Miskin Law first for honest advice that comes from many years of experience.  We do not charge for a first meeting and there is no obligation to proceed with us or to take our advice.  Murray Miskin’s office may be local to  you and you will be comfortable coming in and dealing with our firm.  When you come to us parking is always free too.  If we are not local to you we will still talk to you on the phone and with a very serious claim involving injury that limits travel we will come to you.  We explain in detail how the system works and take the mystery out of the legal and insurance system.

Call or email us with your enquiry and we promise to do our best to help.

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Canadian Asbestos – Mining, Exposure and Export

Asbestos Snow in “The Wizard of Oz” movie

THIS POPULAR POST ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JUNE 1, 2012 WAS UPDATED ON APRIL 7, 2014 AND AGAIN JUNE 26, 2014. IT IS A HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE ASBESTOS STORY LEADING UP TO THE PRESENT CANADIAN SITUATION.  SINCE THE ORIGINAL POSTING CANADIAN ASBESTOS MINING REVIVAL PLANS ENDED, AND IN MARCH 2014 ASBESTOS WAS DISCOVERED IN BYZANTINE ART DATING BACK TO THE 11TH CENTURY.  ON JUNE 17, 2014 THE LACK OF CLARITY OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT POLICY ON ASBESTOS WAS RAISED IN QUESTION PERIOD IN CANADA’S  PARLIAMENT WITHOUT BEING FULLY ANSWERED YET.

Since the 1870s the mineral asbestos was mined in Quebec and Canadian asbestos mining used to be considered one of our country’s greatest natural resources and sources of wealth. Nobody had heard of Asbestosis or Mesothelioma resulting from asbestos exposure. Asbestos was seen as one of the greatest substances known to man. Asbestos is virtually indestructible, it is a most effective fireproofer and insulator with many practical uses. Asbestos uses have included artificial snow for Christmas decoration and for movies like 1939′s The Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland, and Holiday Inn, which in 1942 introduced the song White Christmas. Regular asbestos use was common across Canada in covering pipes, electrical wiring, insulation, floor tiles, children’s toys, kitchen equipment, blankets, curtains, bricks, cement, gaskets, fireman’s suits, auto brake linings, lawn furniture and even filters for cigarettes. Yes, asbestos was used to make tobacco smoking safer! Asbestos use and fire safety were almost synonymous words. Regular daily asbestos exposure was a fact for most Canadians. There has been Asbestos use by people, in cookware and in clothing, for over 4,000 years. The word asbestos comes from a Greek word meaning “unquenchable” or “inextinguishable”. Charlemagne, the first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, was known to have an asbestos tablecloth in about the year 800. Famous Byzantine paintings in Cyprus from the 11th Century have now through testing been found to have been made with an asbestos base.  Chrysotile which is the white asbestos type mined in Canada was used to create a smooth white surface on the walls and as a finish coating between paint layers in monasteries and other places where the paintings were done.   Asbestos was mined in Cyprus about 60 km. away from the monasteries for many centuries, so it is not too surprising that it was used in that region at the time. This is our first knowledge of asbestos in ancient art.

Byzantine Art studied

Asbestos is hidden under and in 11th Century Art

When Marco Polo visited Siberia in his travels during the 13th Century, he was presented with asbestos clothing which he was first told was made from special wool from a magical lizard (salamander). Its qualities were considered magical. Marco Polo eventually did learn that asbestos actually came from the ground. Like spices and pasta the mineral asbestos was brought back by Marco Polo and introduced to Europe where asbestos exposure and use became common. Asbestos use became more common for industry in the 1800s. As Canada developed, asbestos was discovered and asbestos mining developed into a major Quebec industry. Long before anyone knew of the potential for extracting large quantities of oil from the bitumen of the Alberta tar sands, the magical mineral asbestos was viewed as one of Canada’s greatest assets. “These enormous asbestos deposits in the province of Quebec are immensely valuable to Canada in war and peace, and they form a very important part of our great heritage of mineral wealth,” said CBC Radio’s Lorne Greene in 1942, on-site at the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Quebec. But far worse than today’s oil from sand, which has a huge environmental price attached to it, the more easily mined asbestos comes with a deadly impact on miners, people who work with it and people simply exposed to asbestos in everyday life. Asbestos mining has advanced with protection for the miners. The asbestos exposure danger is greatest from breathing in asbestos fibers. The fibers remain in the body indestructible and for many people slowly causing serious diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma. In ancient days there was some suspicion of ill effects from asbestos use as it was noted that the slaves who wove asbestos into clothing became ill and had breathing difficulty. They were the symptoms of asbestosis. The connection to asbestos exposure was noted but not a concern since the weavers were slaves and easily replaced. It was not until 1906 that the first human was diagnosed as having died as a result of asbestos exposure. Researchers began to investigate respiratory health problems in asbestos mining towns and it became clear asbestos exposure was the culprit. Conditions such as asbestosis where long term asbestos exposure causes severe respiratory disease became known in the early 1900s with the first official asbestosis death noted in medical journals in 1924. Mine owners and other business users of asbestos did all they could to suppress knowledge of the danger of asbestos. The horrible condition of Mesothelioma which is a deadly and painful cancer of the lining of the lungs was discovered in the 1920s but not linked to asbestos until the 1940s. Mesothelioma can only be caused by asbestos exposure. By the 1970s awareness and fear of asbestos related diseases led to asbestos use being regulated and phased out. There were strikes in the mines due to safety concerns. Lawsuits began which eventually put most mines out of operation and most asbestos product manufacturers into bankruptcy. Asbestos mining is became a very small industry in Canada but asbestos mining continued to get strong support from the Quebec Government in its attempts to support the asbestos industry. Canada continued asbestos mining and export even though asbestos use is banned in Canada and most developed countries. Canadian asbestos is now killing people all over the world with until recently support for the asbestos mining industry from both the Federal and Quebec Governments, despite growing opposition to it by Canadians. The Government of Canada has helped prevent a world ban on asbestos and it’s support for the Canadian asbestos industry is a major political issue today. Please view Operation Maple’s video regarding Canada exporting asbestos featuring an interview with Murray Miskin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEgwgfVmv7g In the 2012 Quebec election the pro-asbestos mining Government of Jean Charest was defeated and the minority Parti Quebecois Government immediately cancelled loans that were intended to assist the reopening of the Jeffrey Mine in the Town of Asbestos, Quebec.  The Harper Government saw the writing on the wall and immediately stopped its own support for the asbestos mines and its opposition to a treaty for international co-operation against asbestos use.  In the April 7, 2014 Quebec election campaign asbestos was not an issue and the new Liberal Government is highly unlikely to attempt to reopen asbestos mines.  For more information on asbestos and the Quebec election please visit our website Asbestos Facts Canada After the PQ came to power in 2012 and stopped proposed government loans to reopen asbestos mines the Federal Government also backed off support for asbestos.  They withdrew objections to listing Chrysotile Asbestos (the Canadian mined form) as a hazardous product under the United Nations Rotterdam Convention. That declaration does not ban asbestos but requires warnings about the hazard.  In Parliament on June 17, 2014 the issue of asbestos policy for Canada was raised by NDP member Pat Martin who is a former asbestos mine worker.  The Government would not make clear its position on Canadian export and import of asbestos outside of simply confirming its current support for the Rotterdam Convention. More and more Canadians are finding they have Mesothelioma or other serious cancers and other conditions (asbestosis, pleural plaques) caused by exposure to asbestos and asbestos use which may have been many years ago. The Miskin law firm represents Canadian asbestos victims and their families in getting compensation for Asbestosis, Mesothelioma and other diseases. We work to promote awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure. There is compensation for some people for asbestosis and mesothelioma through Workers Compensation, and we bring claims to asbestos trusts set up to pay claims for asbestos victims from the assets of the asbestos product companies. The greatest compensation is for victims of mesothelioma. Miskin law offices are the leading mesothelioma lawyers in Canada. Call our office or Email miskinlaw@yahoo.com if you or a family member believe you have a claim. We now have a new informational website where we provide more asbestos facts related to Canada along with links to many asbestos and mesothelioma related resources and organizations. It is www.asbestosfacts.ca We encourage you to learn more and join the battle to protect Canadians from asbestos and to protect the world from Canadian asbestos exports.

Asbestos, Quebec, Canada

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