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

Thursday, June 9, 2011

International Ban Asbestos Secretariat Seeks Closure of Asbestos Factories

Press Release

Bhojpur Awaits Time Bomb of Incurable Asbestos Diseases


0/6/2011/New Delhi:In a letter to Nitish Kumar, Bihar Chief Minister, London based International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS) has pointed out that Great Britain has suffered "country’s worst epidemic of occupational disease and death. This year, more than 3,500 people will die from asbestos-related illnesses including asbestosis, mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer in the UK." The letter takes cognisance of the "factories that manufacture asbestos-cement products have already been built in Bihiya, and Giddha, Bhojpur" and "additional facilities in Bihar in the near future". The attached letter was sent on 8th June, 2011.

In her letter, Laurie Kazan-Allen, head of IBAS has underlined that "These diseases are the result of hazardous asbestos exposures at work, at home and from environmental sources. There can be no doubt at all that the asbestos epidemic which is now being seen in Britain and other industrialized countries will occur in India."

The letter refers to two books published by IBAS namely: Killing the Future – Asbestos Use in Asia and India’s Asbestos Time Bomb which contain multiple images which depict the hazardous conditions in which asbestos-containing products are used in India. Both the books are available at http://ibasecretariat.org/ktf_web_fin.pdf.

In a significant exercise, the Chronology of National Asbestos Bans in 55 country has been compiled by IBAS along with the
Current Asbestos Bans and Restrictions world over. The chronology is attached.

Two of these plants have just been set up in Bihiya, Bhojpur, Bihar by Tamil Nadu based company, Ramco Industries Ltd.
The third one has been set up at Giddha, Koilwar Block, Bhojpur, Bihar by Tamil Nadu based Nibhi Industries Pvt. Ltd.

Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka an Erudite committee has been appointed to look into health and environmental hazards of the use of asbestos. The committee was appointed considering the world trends to abandon the use of asbestos due to their negative impacts. In a communication to us Dr Charitha Herath, Chairman Central Environmental Authority (CEA), Sri Lanka informed BANI, "We at the CEA are trying our best to study the matter of Asbestos and to take an appropriate action." Unmindful of incurable disease caused by asbestos fibers, Nibhi Industries Pvt. Ltd has proposed a plant in Sri Lanka too.

It is noteworthy that on 10th May, 2010, the project of Ramco Industries was discussed by the Experts Appraisal Committee (EAC), Industry of Union Environment Ministry. In the minutes of the EAC, there is explicit reference to "Health Management Plan for Mesothalimoa, Lung cancer and Asbestosis related problems in asbestos industries". IBAS letter is quite a timely warning for the Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister, Sushil Kumar Modi who has allotted lands for four asbestos plants without the application of scientific mind. This step of the Deputy Chief Minister reveals his colossal ignorance about epidemic of asbestos related diseases in the entire developed world.

Modi and his advisers are bringing disrepute to Bihar by ignoring "A Repeat Call for the Banning of Asbestos" published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a monthly journal of peer-reviewed research and news published by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services published in July 2010. The document regard first call titled The Case for a Global Ban on Asbestos is attached.

Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) welcomes the letter of IBAS to Bihar Chief Minister with copies to Sonia Gandhi, Dr Manmohan Singh, Lal Krishna Advani, Jairam Ramesh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Pranab Mukherjee, Dr Murali Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitli, Dr C P Thakur, Sushil Kumar Modi and Dr Pratima S. Verma, District Magistrate, Bhojpur, Bihar
amid the struggle underway to stop the three asbestos plants in Bhojpur district and additional facilities like the ones proposed in Visahali, Muzaffarpur, Madhubani, West Champaran in Bihar.

For Details: Laurie Kazan-Allen, International Ban Asbestos Secretariat, P.O. Box 93, Stanmore HA7 4GR England,
website: http://www.ibasecretariat.org, email: ibas@lkaz.demon.co.uk, laurie@lkaz.demon.co.uk, Phone: + 44 (0) 208 958 38 87/
Gopal Krishna, Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI), Mb: 9818089660, E-mail: krishna2777@gmail.com,
Blog: banasbestosindia.blogspot.com, Web: www.toxicswatch.com

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