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, December 5, 2009

‘Asbestos dust is highly cancerous’

KOCHI: Asbestos continues to be rampantly used in India, China and a few other countries despite the grave health hazards that it poses, Barry Castleman, environmental consultant and anti-asbestos activist said.

Addressing the media at the Ernakulam Press Club on Friday, he said that asbestos dust is highly cancerous. “This is a public-health catastrophe. The European Union and countries like South Korea, South Africa, Argentina and most States in Brazil have banned asbestos. Apart from inhabitants of houses built using asbestos, construction workers, architects etc., fall prey to the hazards. They stand a high chance of contracting cancer after a few years of exposure to the substance, he said. The U.S. alone accounts for around 3,000 deaths each year due to asbestos-induced cancer. There is urgent need to regulate asbestos manufacturers. Human rights agencies have demanded curbs on asbestos use in schools and hospitals. “There are many alternatives to asbestos, which are just around 10 per cent costlier. Still, it is used in the construction sector and the brake linings of many vehicles,” he said.

The Hindu

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