ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CRITERIA 203 for Chrysotile Asbestos concludes, “Exposure to chrysotile asbestos poses increased risks for asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma in a dose-dependent manner. No threshold has been identified for carcinogenic risks.” This criteria has been created by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Labour Organisation(ILO)and World Health Organisation (WHO)
Such claims and promises of safe use have been demolished long back even by agencies like World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s Appellate Body and World Bank Group. The Shiva Test House, Patna which did the study for the EIA does reveal cursorily that “Construction site has a potential hazardous environment”, “Asbestos fiber will be used in the plant as a raw material is hazardous in nature, the industry will give information to the workers on hazards associated with asbestos.” There is no evidence to suggest that this has been done. It has ignored the adverse environmental and occupational health impacts of the proposed plant possibly because of the demands of the project proponent. The communities in the vicinity of the plant are denied even this cursory treatment with regard to hazards from asbestos. It is noteworthy that there are no industrial physicians and virtually no environmental and occupational health centres in Bihar. Under the circumstances, preventing the asbestos plant is better than suffering from asbestos related diseases with no possible cure in sight.
BCRL has unleashed a reign a terror against the villagers of Chainpur, Marwan Block, Muzaffarpur in collusion with the block, dub division and district administration who are protesting against a proposed asbestos cement plant in the vicinity of their residential area.