Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) works for Asbestos Free India inspired by trade union leader Purnendu Majumadar. Occupational Health India and ToxicsWatch Alliance are its members that includes doctors, researchers and activists. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims. It works with trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. For Details:1715krishna@gmail.com, oshindia@yahoo.in

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Asbestos Mineral 'a major killer': Indian labour


Quebec, home to Canada's only two asbestos mines, has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma — an asbestos-related cancer — in the world.


The Canadian government believes asbestos is safe if handled properly and has spent nearly $20 million in the past two decades to promote exports of the mineral, almost all of it going to developing nations for use in construction material.

But Georgetti argued any appeal by the Canadian Labour Congress(CLC)wouldn't immediately end the practice of asbestos mining in Canada. He called for the federal government to take a lead role in closing the mines, including providing financial support for the miners, and their families and communities when the industry finally ceases production.
"If they did that, the decision for our council would be very easy," he said.

Last week, the All India Trade Union Congress, the second largest union in India, appealed for help from Georgetti and the CLC in urging the Canadian government to stop exports of Canadian asbestos to India, calling the mineral "a major killer."
Roughly 97 per cent of Canada's production of asbestos is exported — mostly to developing countries including India, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Asbestos has been banned by nearly every developed country, as well as a growing number of developing nations. WHO has estimated as many as 100,000 people around the world die annually from asbestos-related diseases.

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