Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Journal of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) that 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

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Asbestos Notes

"REPORT OF THE TASK FORCE ON GREENING INDIA FOR LIVELIHOOD SECURITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT", PLANNING COMMISSION, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, JULY-2001 notes, "Bamboo Mat Corrugated Sheet is a very high potential material for roofing as a substitute for Asbestos Cement Corrugated Sheets (ACCS), which are considered to be carcinogenic and have been banned in many countries. It promises to revolutionize roofing system in the country as also in several other counties." This 254 page report takes cognisance of the cancer causing nature of asbestos cement sheets at page no. 111.
The 16 member Task Force was headed by Dr.D.N.Tewari, who was member, Planning Commission. Other members of the Task Force were: Dr.N.C.Saxena, Secretary, Planning Commission, Secretary, Department of Land Resources, New Delhi, Dr.P.L. Sanjeev Reddy, Principal Adviser, Planning Commission, Dr. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma, Secretary, Deptt. of Biotechnology, Bhaskar Baruan, Secretary, Agriculture & Co-operation, Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, N.K. Sinha, Secretary, Animal Husbandry & Dairy Development, Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Devi Dayal, Special Secretary, Banking, C.P. Oberoi, Special Secretary & Inspector General,MoEF, Director General, ICAR, New Delhi, Director General, ICFRE, Dehradun , Mrs J. Khanna, Pr Adviser (E&F),Planning Commission, Dr. A.P. Dikshit, General Manager, AFC Mumbai and Dr P.S. Pathak, Director. IGFRI, Jhansi. Mrs J. Khanna was the member secretary of the Task Force.

Asbestos is currently found in three states only- Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. While Andhra Pradesh has the Chrysolite variety of asbestos, Rajasthan produces the Amphibolite variety.

The ban on mining of asbestos was imposed in phases in 1986 and 1993 but not on its use, manufacture, export and import. But despite the ban on mining, illegal mines are operating in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Most asbestos-cement is using imported asbestos, but some of it is being sourced from the illegal mining though that is a relatively small proportion.

While the whole world is banning asbestos, Visaka Asbestos Industries is setting up new asbestos cement plant in Orissa. It is setting up a 100,000-tonne capacity asbestos cement sheet plant at Sambalpur in Orissa at an estimated cost of Rs 400 million to meet the rural demand, according to vice-chairman G Vivekanand. This apart, the company is ramping up the capacity of its Pune plant from 65,000 tonne to 100,000 tonne with Rs 150 million investment. This is expected to be ready in a year.

Rajasthan has 54 per cent of India’s asbestos resources. It has five to six operational mines. In the absence of formal lifting of ban on mining of asbestos, mining operations are on hold.
Rajasthan has approached the Centre against the ban on granting lease to asbestos mines in the state. The state's plea for granting lease to mining of asbestos is based on a study underaken by Indian Bureau of Mines that recommends lifting of the ban on mining of chrysotile asbestos.

In a proposal, the directorate of mines argues that on May 26, 1997, nine years after ministry of steel, mines and coal had issued directives for a ban on renewal or granting of new leases for mining asbestos, a fresh study was conducted on the impact of environment due to asbestos mining.

The mines department, quoting the Indian Bureau of Mines, which conducted the study, said that there was no adverse effect on environment or on the health of workers due to asbestos mining in Rajasthan.

The report also mentions that all safety measures like sprinkling of water, wet drilling, use of dust masks along with a periodic health check up of workers are done in the state. The report adds that despite the fact that asbestos is being mined in Rajasthan since the past 40 years, no report of illness has been reported from any of its workers.

Moreover, the proposal says that in a meeting held on January 22, 2007, the joint secretary, mines had advocated the lifting of ban on the Chrysolite variety of asbestos found in Andhra following which the additional director had opined on lifting of the ban on the Amphibolite variety too.

The state has also argued that the lifting of the ban would not only generate employment but will also bring in revenue for the state government.

Studies have shown that asbestos mining has deleterious effect on the health of workers and exposes them to diseases like asbestosis which can cause death.

In fact, it was in view of the adverse effects of asbestos mining on the health of the workers that the Central government directed the state governments in 1986 not to grant any new mining lease for asbestos (including chrysotile variety) in the country. In June 1993, the central government stopped the renewal of existing mining leases of asbestos.


ASBESTOS IN RAJYA SABHA


Question asked in Rajya Sabha on 13/05/2005 by SHRI EKANATH K. THAKUR
Relevant to ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS
Subject: SHIP FOR SCRAP CARRYING CARCINOGENIC ASBESTOS INSULATION

Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS be pleased to state:-

(a) whether it is a fact that the Danish Government have alerted India about a toxic ship-for-scrap carrying carcinogenic asbestos insulation headed for Alang yard in Gujarat;

(b) whether it is also a fact that the Danish Government have requested Indian Government to declare the ship as illegal traffic and refuse to allow it to be dumped in India; and

(c) if so, the action proposed?

ANSWERED BY NAMO NARAIN MEENA, STAE ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

OVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 1840 ANSWERED ON 11.08.2006 ASBETOS RELATED DISEASES 1840.

SHRI PENUMALLI MADHU: Will the Minister of HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE be pleased to state:

(a) whether the Government are aware of the recent finding of epidemiological study on asbestos related diseases conducted in Quebec, Canada; (b) the total number of asbestos manufacturing units in India with State-wise figures;

(c) whether Government would undertake a study to find out the prevalence of asbestosis and mesothelioma, the dreaded diseases caused by asbestos particles in the air;

(d) if so, the details thereof; and

(e) if not, the reasons therefor?

ANSWER MINISTER OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE (DR. ANBUMANI RAMADOSS)
(a): According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a book ‘Asbestos: Selected Cancers’ (2006) has been published by Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, wherein one of the chapters is devoted to description of epidemiological studies. This chapter refers to studies on Quebec Chrysotile Miners by McDonald et al 1997.

(b): The State-wise number of asbestos manufacturing units in India are detailed as under:

State Andhra Pradesh Assam Gujarat Haryana Jharkhand Karnataka Kerala Madhyha Pradesh Maharashtra Orissa Punjab Rajasthan Tamil Nadu U.P. UT of D& N West Bengal

No. of Units 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 6 1 1 1 4 3 1 3

(c) to (e): ICMR`s National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Ahmedabad, is currently engaged in the following three studies related to asbestos:


i) Study of Health Hazards/Environmental hazards resulting from use of Chrysotile variety of asbestos in the country,

ii) Epidemiological study in ship breaking workers at Alang (Gujarat),

iii)Environmental-cum-epidemiological study in Chrysotile and tremolite illing/mining units in Pulivendla (A.P.) and Bhim (Rajasthan). These studies have been recently initiated and results are expected to be available in the next few years.

Rajya Sabha on 15/12/2008 by Prabha Thakur Relevant to Mines Subject: Health Hazardous in Asbestos

Will the Minister of MINES be pleased to state:-

(a) whether it is a fact that Indian Bureau of Mines has conducted a study on the effect on the health of labourers engaged in asbestos mining;

(b) if so, whether this study has made any suggestions;

(c) whether the study group has suggested doing away with the restrictions on asbestos mining;

(d) whether Government proposes to implement them;

(e) whether Government would lift the ban on new leases for asbestos mining and their renewal; and

(f) if so, by when?

Answered by Sis Ram Ola

OVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF MINES RAJYA SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO 101 ANSWERED ON 31.07.2006 HEALTH HAZARDS OF ASBESTOS MINING 101.

DR. NARAYAN SINGH MANAKLAO SHRI HARISH RAWAT:
Will the Minister of MINES be pleased to state:

(a) whether it is a fact that Indian Bureau of Mines has conducted study on the health hazards of asbestos mines workers of Rajasthan;

(b) if so, the recommendations thereof;

(c) whether the study recommended for lifting of ban on asbestos leasing; and

(d) if so, the details of action taken/proposed to be taken to implement these recommendations including the time-frame for implementation?

ANSWER MINISTER OF MINES (SHRI SIS RAM OLA)

(a): Yes Sir.

(b) & (c): The study recommended that the ban imposed on grant and renewal of mining leases and expansion of mining may be lifted subject to control of pollution level in work environment of various operations and other remedial measures.

(d): The proposal of amending Regulation 124 of Metalliferous Mines Regulations, 1961 by way of reducing permissible limit of airborne respirable asbestos fibre dust from 2 to 0.1- 0.5 per millilitre of air is under consideration in consultation with Directorate General, Mines Safety (DGMS).

ASBESTOS IN LOK SABHA

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS LOK SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 768 TO BE ANSWERED ON 31.07.2006 ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF ASBESTOS 768.

SHRI MOHAN PONNUSWAMY

Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS be pleased to state:

(a) whether any epidemiological study on asbestos related diseases has been conducted recently; (b) if so, the details thereof;
and (c) the total number of asbestos manufacturing units in the country, State-wise?

ANSWER

MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS (SHRI NAMO NARAIN MEENA) (a) to (c): The information is being collected and will be placed on the Table of the House.

EXHIBIT NO.53
PRESS NOTE NO.1 (1996 Series)
MANUFACTURE OF ASBESTOS & ASBESTOS BASED PRODUCTS
The Government had set up a Technical (iii) The BIS Standards prescribed for use of Committee to undertake a comprehensive study, asbestos under controlled and regulated
covering all aspects relating to asbestos and asbestos conditions, which are listed at Annexure1
based products. After examining the matter in depth, must be followed compulsorily by the
the Technical Committee has given its report to the Company;
Government. The Government, after considering the
(iv) The Company shall provide medical health
report, has accepted the recommendation of the
care facilities regularly at the workplace
Technical Committee.
and if cases of harmful effect of asbestos
2. Keeping in view the recommendations of the have been noticed on any worker,
Technical Committee, the Government has interalia necessary compensation shall be arranged
decided that the applications for the manufacture of under the existing laws; and
asbestos and asbestos based products, for the grant
(v) The Company shall adhere to all other
of LOI/IL shall be considered subject to the following
existing laws regarding safety of labourers,
conditions:
employment of child labour, Factories
(i) The Company shall obtain necessary Act, ptr
central environmental clearance before
3. In order to ensure speedy disposal of applications
converting LOI into licence, as stipulated
for grant of Letter of Intent/Industrial Licence, for
in GOI Notification No.S.0.60(E), dated
manufacture of asbestos and asbestosbased products
27th January, 1994 of Ministry of
and to obviate the need of back reference to the
Environment & Forests;
entrepreneurs, it has been decided that all applications
(ii) The discharge of asbestos fibre in the for grant of industrial license in the asbestos sector
factory premises shall be so controlled would be considered in the Approval Committee(s)
that it does not exceed the limit of 2 fibre/ only after these have been examined in depth by the
cc. Continuous measurement of its Administrative Ministry/ Desk concerned vyith respect
pollutants in the area may be taken and to the prescribed standards/safeguards as mentioned
record must be maintained. above.
F. No.10(6)/96-L.P. New Delhi, the 8th March, 1996.
Forwarded to Press Information Bureau for giving wide publicity to the contents of the above Press Note.
Sd/-
(Aditi S. Ray)
Deputy Economic Adviser
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Bureau
New Delhi.
120 Industrial Policy Highlights
EXHIBIT NO.53 (Contd.)
PRESS NOTE NO.1 (1996 Series)
MANUFACTURE OF ASBESTOS & ASBESTOS BASED PRODUCTS
ANNEX-I
LIST OF BIS STANDARDS
1. IS:11450-1986 Method for determination of airborne asbestos fibre concentration in work environment
by light microscopy (membrane filter method)
2. IS:11451-1986 Recommendations for safety and health requirements relating to occupational exposure
to asbestos.
3. IS:11767-1986 Recommendations for cleaning of premises and plants using asbestos fibres.
4. IS:11768-1986 Recommendations for disposal of asbestos waste material.
5. IS:11769 (Part-1)-1987 Guidelines for safe use of products containing asbestos : Asbestos Cement
products.
6. IS:11769 (Part-2)-1986 Guidelines for safe use of products containing asbestos : Friction material.
7. IS:11769 (Part-3)-1986 Guidelines for safe use of products containing asbestos : Non-cement asbestos
products other than friction material.
8. IS:11770 (Part 1)-1987 Recommendations for control of emission of asbestos dust in premises
manufacturing products containing asbestos dust in premises manufacturing products containing
asbestos : Asbestos Cement Products.
9. IS:11770 (Part 2)-1987 Recommendations for control of emission of asbestos dust in premises
manufacturing products containing asbestos : Friction materials.
10. IS:11770(Part 3)-1987 Recommendations for control of emission of asbestos dust in premises
manufacturing products containing asbestos : Non-cement asbestos products other than friction
material.
11. IS:12078-1987 Recommendatios for personal protection of workers engaged in handling asbestos.
12. IS:12079-1987 Recommendations for packaging transport and storage of asbestos.
13. IS:12080-1987 Recommendations for local exhaust ventilation systems in premises manufacturing
products containing asbestos.
14. IS:12081 (Part-1)-1987 Recommendations for pictorial warning signs and precautionary notices for
asbestos and products containing asbestos : Workplaces.
15. IS:12081 (Part 2)-1987 Recommendations for pictorial warning signs and precautionary notices for
asbestos and products containing asbestos : Asbestos and its products.
16. IS:12082 (Part 1)-1987 Recommendations for control of asbestos emission : Mining of asbestos ore.
121
CHAPTER - I
EXHIBIT NO.54
PRESS NOTE NO.2 (1996 Series)
MANUFACTURE OF CELLULOSE FIBRE CEMENT BASED ON ASBESTOS FREE AND NON-WOOD PULP MATERIAL
Meinoranda(IEM), it has been decided that the licensing
Subject: Exemption from obtaining Industrial
discipline, hence forth, would not apply to
Licence for the Manufacture of Cellulose
manufacture of "articles of cellulose fibre cement
Fibre Cement based on Asbestos free and
based on asbestos-free and nonwood pulp raw
non-wood pulp material.
material." The entrepreneurs, therefore, who intend
Under the New Industrial Policy announced on
to manufacture "articles of cellulose fibre
24th July, 1991, asbestos and asbestos based products
cement(asbestos free), not using wood pulp", under
had been retained under compulsory licensing. Articles
ITC Code 68.11 need not apply for Industrial License.
of asbestos cement and cellulose fibre cement have
They may now file an Industrial Entrepreneurs
a common ITC Code 68.11 included under
Memoranda(IEM) as prescribed in Para 6 of Press
compulsory licensing. Though manufacture of
Note NO.9(1991 Series) dated 2nd August, 1991,
asbestos is considered process hazardous, the same
with the Secretariat for Industrial Approvals(SIA) in
is not true of cellulose fibre cement as it is considered
the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion,
asbestos free.
and obtain the acknowledgement. The location of the
2. To simplify and streamline the Policy and undertaking will, of course, be subject to Local land
Procedure for filing Industrial Entrepreneur use and Zoning Laws and Regulations.
F. No.10(43)/91-LP New Delhi, the 31st July, 1996.
Forwarded to Press Information Bureau for giving wide publicity to the contents of the above Press Note.
Sd/-
(Aditi S. Ray)
Deputy Economic Adviser
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Bureau
New Delhi.

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