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

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Asbestos, Asbestos Everywhere...

(Security check up under asbestos roof in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)
India continues to import the asbestos toxic mineral primarily from Canada and Russia although over 50 countries around the world have banned it. In 2008, Canada exported $77 million worth of asbestos; 43% of it went to India. Asbestos is is mixed with cement and used to create infrastructure like pipes, brakes, and rooftops etc.

At least since 1984, the Canadian asbestos industry created the Chrysotile Institute (previously known as Asbestos Institute) and Canadian government has contributed more than $19 million to the institute for the promotion of this killer fiber by legitimizing bad science manufactured at the behest of the industry.

Caught in a time warp, people with only philistine concerns like Clément Godbout, President, Chrysotile Institute, Laurent Lessard, a politician from Québec, Dr Jacques Dunnigan, a industry toxicologist, Dr David Bernstein, an industry consultant toxicology from Switzerland, Dr Suresh Moolgavkar, pro-industry Professor, Epidemiology from US, Dr. Michel Camus, a Canadian politician, Dr Sergey V. Kashansky, Ekaterinburg Medical Research Cente from Russia, Dr Hans Weill, Tulane University School of Medecine from US, Dr John Hoskins, industry toxicologist from UK, Dr Nikolai Izmerov, Head, Russian Occupational Health Institute, Russia, Luis Cejudo Alva, industry Consultant, Instotuto Mexicano de Fibro-Industrias, Mexico, Dr Vivek Chandra Rao, Hyderabad Industries, India, John Bridle from UK, Denis Hamel from Canada, Dr Dennis Paustenbach from US, Dr Matiana Ramirez Aguilar from Mexico, Dr Ericson Bagatin, - Occupational Health Area, Medical Sciences School State University of Campinas, Sao Paulo from Brazil and Gary Nash, a Canadian politician are involved in a consistent misinformation campaign and anti-public health propaganda to safeguard the blood tainted profit of the chrysotile asbestos industry across the developing world.

Pat Martin, Winnipeg Member of Parliament, attempted to make the House of Commons, Canada declare April Fools Day (April 1) an asbestos awareness day for asbestos-related diseases because Canadian government has misled the world for quite a while. “We’ve fooled the world with phony science for too long,” Martin said. As a youth Martin spent two years mining asbestos in the Yukon. At the time, he was completely unaware that the effects from working in such an environment could be fatal. Currently, Canada is exporting more than 200,000 tons of asbestos each year. In 2005, 61 percent of occupational fatalities in Canada were the result of asbestos exposure, totaling 340 people.

The Canadian Cancer Society fully supported Martin in his efforts in asking the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to set a timeline for phasing out the use and export of Canada’s chrysotile asbestos. The Canadian Cancer Society said, “We are stating factually that all forms of asbestos cause cancer.” The last remaining active asbestos mine in Canada is located in Quebec, which exports 90 percent of all the asbestos that it produces.

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