Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) works for Asbestos Free India since 2002. Occupational Health India and ToxicsWatch Alliance are its members that includes occupational health doctors, researchers and activists. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims. It works with trade unions, human rights, environmental and public health groups. For Details:krishna1715@gmail.com, oshindia@yahoo.in, toxicswatchallaince@gmail.com

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reopening world’s largest asbestos mine will create new victims



Note: While National Alliance for Asbestos Free India led by BANI supports the demand of the Asian campaigners, it also seeks boycott of both asbestos mining and products manufacturing companiesBANI has written letters to the heads Canadian, Quebec and Indian legislatures besides having appealed for world opinion against Quebec government to stop mining of killer fibers. The naked lust for profit alone is guiding the asbestos trade. Those who support these companies are guilty of barbarism and crime against humanity. International and national law must be geared to make the asbestos companies criminally liable for letting preventable deaths and diseases to happen. The governments, legislatures, companies and media houses that support the poisonous asbestos fibers are evil doers against both the present as well as future generations. Their satanic business enterprise must be made to face exemplary and unlimited liability. 

Gopal Krishna, BANI 

Plans to reopen world’s largest asbestos mine will create ‘new generation’ of victims



Quebec government considering $58 million loan to support the mine despite moral outrage over export of dangerous asbestos to India, Indonesia and the Phillipines


Campaigners are protesting against plans to re-open the world’s largest asbestos mine, the Jeffrey Mine in Quebec with the help of $58 million from the provincial government. The mine would export upwards of 6 million tonnes of chrysotile asbestos to less industrialised countries over the next 25 years.

While Canada has actively been removing all traces of asbestos from its buildings it has remained one of the world’s largest chrysotile asbestos exporters. Officials argue chrysotile can be handled safely and effectively. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate more than 107,000 people die each year from asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma, and that all forms of asbestos are strongly carcinogenic to humans.

Earlier this month a delegation of asbestos victims from Asia visited Quebec to hold workshops urging a ban on exports to India, Indonesia and the Phillipines, where asbestos is still heavily used to reinforce cement, buildings and roads. Protests have also been staged in Quebec and London with campaigners calling the continued exports an ‘abomination’ and a breach of human rights.



When inhaled, asbestos causes lung cancer and mesothelioma and it has been banned in many countries but is still heavily used in less industrialised countries where little protection is provided for workers. 

Medical experts told the Ecologist exporting chrysotile overseas was ‘unacceptable’ and an abdication of Canada’s social responsibility.

‘We know from clear scientific evidence that exposure to asbestos through mining, processing and use is harmful to health,’ said Dr. Jeff Turnbull, President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). ‘We have a social responsibility to protect not only the health of Canadians, but that of citizens elsewhere who are being harmed by a Canadian export. Canada should not be abdicating this responsibility.’

Anti-asbestos campaigner Kathleen Ruff, author of Exporting Harm: How Canada Exports to the Developing World, told the Ecologist health officials around the world were ‘aghast’ at the Quebec government’s plans to revive the mine. She said the export of millions of tonnes would create a ‘new generation of victims amongst the most vulnerable people on the planet’.


Vi Nguyen

22nd December, 2010

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