Journalist Mark Bonokoski, recently featured in the London Free Press, has stirred up a lot of controversy in a recent article. While discussing a letter sent by activists to Zimbabwe Dictator Robert Mugabe requesting that he does not reopen the country’s asbestos mines, Bonokoski recommended that the mines indeed be opened to save the economy of the struggling nation. While the opening of this mine may mildly stimulate the nation’s economy, it will also greatly increase the number of serious and fatal diseases found in the region. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, and is estimated to kill more than 107,000 people globally every year.
In the same article, Bonokoski weighed-in on Canada blocking an international agreement to restrict the sale of chrysotile asbestos. He said of Canada’s pro-asbestos actions: “Quite simply because it was the right thing to do.” Bonokoski defended his statement by saying that since the government of Quebec awarded a $58-million loan to the owners of the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Quebec, they couldn’t simply just throw their money away. Apparently Bonokoski believes that two wrongs will make a right.
It is time to ban asbestos throughout the world to prevent exposing any more people to this deadly mineral. Bolstering the global asbestos trade by mining and manufacturing this silent killer should be the last idea on the minds’ of our leaders and journalists.