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I have been hands-on in the care of two people who were stricken with asbestosis.

The first adult died at the age of 51 in 1978 from pleural mesothelioma. His name was Harley Moser, a hard-working plumber and family man. He was exposed to asbestos through his trade and died a painful and early death. He left a two-year-old grandson who never had his Papa to love him and teach him all that grandfathers share with little boys.

The second man suffers daily with a horrific lung disease from the fibres of asbestos inhaled over many years of working in his trade. We are thankful as he is still with us.

I have been following the articles in your paper about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s unwillingness to sign an agreement to label asbestos as a hazardous export. I am ashamed of my government that we would export this plague to countries around the world.

I am proud of Michaela Keyserlingk and Cathy Conrad as they speak of this injustice. My heart goes out to the unsuspecting workers who will handle this product and in 20 years their families will experience the sadness that I have lived with for 32 years. The two men that I have watched suffer with this lung disease have been my father and step-father.

Marilyn Sloan, Bedford
Awakened to tragedy.

Thank you for bringing us the story of Cathy Conrad of Truro and her son ("Woman seeks ban on export of asbestos to counter tragedy" Aug. 31).

She is another Canadian hero, one who is putting a human face on our country’s decision to export asbestos to 60 countries. I knew about this decision, but it is only when I read the newspaper’s report of her and her son’s tragic loss of husband and father to occupational cancer — mesothelioma — that I reacted.

Apparently, our government has stopped the UN three times from placing asbestos on the hazardous export list. That was shocking news, but Ms. Conrad’s democratic efforts to change the world for the better is another reminder of the triumph of hope over despair.

Thank you, Ms. Conrad.

Anne Moynihan, Halifax

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