Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Journal of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI). Asbestos Free India campaign of BANI is inspired by trade union movement and right to health campaign. BANI has been working since 2000. It works with peoples movements, doctors, researchers and activists besides trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims. Contact: Advocate Gopal Krishna, LL.M., Ph.D, krishnagreen@gmail.com

Monday, July 26, 2021

Madhya Pradesh ignores advice of WHO & UN, awards asbestos company

Disregarding incurable Asbestos diseases, India's first plant Asbestos fibre based plant in Kymore, Katni, Madhya Pradesh has been awarded for excellence in Safety, Health and Environment by Government of Madhya Pradesh (MP) . It has ignored WHO's recommendation seeking elimination of Asbestos related diseases requires ban on asbestos. WHO is the same entity whose recommendations on covid-19 is restructuring global response of public health institutions all over the world. 


UN agencies have taken note of human rights implications of exposure to asbestos from this asbestos fibre cement factory, which used to be partly owned by Belgium-based company, ETEX/Eternit, and dumping of asbestos waste in the village of Kymore, Madhya Pradesh, India. They have written to Government of India. Government is maintaining deafening silence and remains indifferent to the plight of the victims of asbestos related diseases. 

Kymore asbestos factory was India’s first asbestos plant, built by British company Turner & Newall. British also built asbestos based plant in erstwhile Shahabad district of Bihar. Besides Kymore, UN agencies noted presence of Everest factories in Nashik, Coimbatore, Kolkata and Roorkee.

UN agencies took note of a study that found Kymore asbestos factory, first operated by a subsidiary of UK's Turner & Newall,& later by subsidiary of ETEX/Eternit between 1992-1998, dumped asbestos waste on 600,000 square metres of land. More than 3000 people currently live there.

Study found presence of one million tones of asbestos-contaminated surface soil,with asbestos concentrations of upto 70%. Belgian ETEX/Eternit was shareholder of five asbestos factories in India during 1989-2001, ETEX/Eternit sold its Indian subsidiary prior to Belgian ban on asbestos. 

Workers, their families, consumers and unsuspecting citizens at Kymore factory and it's vicinity face risks of exposure to asbestos fibre. Asbestos is a threat to life through out it's life cycle. Some ex-workers and their family members reported manifestation of asbestos-related diseases. 

Admittedly, prevalence of asbestosis is 3%-9% among factory workers. Ironically, Everest is into Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) work for Tobacco Control! Now one has to wait only for Tobacco industry to under CSR work for Asbestos Control although some 70 countries have learnt that safe and controlled use of this carcinogenic mineral fiber is impossible. 


Thursday, July 8, 2021

California-based asbestos disease awareness organization invites BSPCB Chief & BANI founder to Speak on Global Asbestos Fight for Human Rights and Justice

California based Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an independent nonprofit, is organizing their 11th Zoom conversation on “The Global Asbestos Fight for Human Rights and Justice” on July 21, 2021. The Global Asbestos Fight for Human Rights and Justice panel will consist of Barry Castleman, ScD; Ashok Ghosh PhD; Fernanda Giannasi, Gopal Krishna, PhD; Silvana Mossano, and Linda Reinstein. During the conversation, the panel will discuss the asbestos health crisis, human cost of inaction, and how imports and use impacts human rights and civil justice in Brazil, India, Italy, the United States, and world.

ADAO has invited Dr Ashok Ghosh, Chairman, Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) and Dr Gopal Krishna, environmental lawyer and co-founder Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) to join the panel of experts which also include Barry Castleman, ScD; Fernanda Giannasi,;Silvana Mossano, and Linda Reinstein.

During the conversation, Dr Ashok Ghosh, Chairman, Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) and Dr Gopal Krishna, environmental lawyer and co-founder Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) will discussBSPCB’s cancellation of the No Objection Certificate given to three asbestos based factories in Muzaffarpur, Vaishali and Koelwar, Bhojpur districts of Bihar, East India, which led to their permanent closure, was consistent with the recommendations of World Health Organisation (WHO)International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the verdict of Supreme Court of India. It attracted global attention. 

BANI’s struggle with Khet Bachao Jeewan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti and Paryavaran Bachao Jeevan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti raised awareness about the need for elimination of asbestos-related incurable, but preventable, diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. BANI has been working for an asbestos free India since 2000 inspired by trade union movements and right to health campaigns. BANI works with people's movements, doctors, researchers and activists besides trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedies for victims. BANI is seeking recommendations for the formulation of rules by the central and state governments to prevent unnecessary disease and deaths by banning carcinogenic asbestos mineral fibers laden talcum powder of all brands including Johnson & Johnson company that has allocated $3.9 billion for talc-related litigation. BANI has represented India at World Asbestos Congress, Tokyo, ADAO 15th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention ConferenceWashington DC and George Washington University, Washington DC in the past. 

Barry Castleman, ScD is an Environmental Consultant trained in chemical and environmental engineering. He holds a Doctor of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He has been a consultant to numerous agencies of the US government and other governments, international bodies, and environmental groups dealing with a wide range of public health issues. He has testified as an expert in civil litigation in the US on the history of asbestos as a public health problem and the reasons for failure to properly control asbestos hazards. Dr. Castleman has spent the past 40 years working on asbestos as a public health problem.

Ashok Ghosh, PhD is Chairman of Bihar State Pollution Control Board.He is also working as Professor and HoD, Research at Mahavir Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Patna.The main areas of his research is ground water quality and quantity. Dr. Ghosh has worked extensively on groundwater arsenic contamination and its health impact. 

Fernanda Giannasi is a Civil and Safety Engineer and ex-Labor Inspector for the Ministry of Labor and Employment for 30 years. She is the coordinator of the Virtual Citizen Ban Asbestos Network for Latin America, founder of the Brazilian Association of People Exposed to Asbestos (ABREA) and Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini. She serves as an expert witness in judicial cases related to asbestos, nuclear and other toxic chemicals. The 2018 Ramazzini Award was presented to Engineer Giannasi by the Collegium Ramazzini for her leadership in the promotion of an asbestos-free Brazil and in broadening the rationale for supporting a worldwide ban on asbestos and was recognized as a hero of worker safety and health as well an exemplary public civil servant.

Gopal Krishna, PhD has been a researcher and advocate on the subject of health hazards in hazardous industries like asbestos industry and ship breaking industry since 2000. He is the co-founder-convener of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) and editor of BANI’s journal, www.asbestosfreeindia.orgHe presented paper “Research on Chrysotile Asbestos: Failure of Ethics by National Institute of Occupational Health and National Human Rights Commission” at 14th World Congress of Bioethics. 

Silvana Mossano was born in Casale Monferrato (Piedmont, Northern Italy), where she lives. Now retired, Silvana worked as a journalist for 40 years and for 31 years at La Stampa. She primarily wrote about crime, as well as her community and education. She followed all the Eternit trials, writing tens and tens of articles in over 35 years. As a published author, she has written the novel «Il cortile (the Courtyard) » (ebook, Gruppo Gems) and «Un giorno arriverò (one day I will arrive)» (2012, Salani), di «Malapolvere (Bad Dust)» (2010, Edizioni Sonda) and «Morire d’amianto (Dying of Asbestos)» (2012, ebook, La Stampa, coauthor: Michele Brambilla) on the tragedies of Asbestos, analyzing the human side though the testimonies of the witnesses at the trials. In addition, she has written texts for theatre songs and also sings. Her site is www.silmos.it.

Linda Reinstein is the President/CEO and Co-Founder of Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). Reinstein became an activist when her husband, Alan, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2003. She co-founded the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization in 2004, and now serves as President and CEO.  Reinstein has been a strong political voice for justice in every major asbestos-related issue.

This information is available at ADAO’s 11th Zoom Conversation: The Global Asbestos Fight for Human Rights and Justice with Barry Castleman, ScD; Ashok Ghosh PhD; Fernanda Giannasi, Gopal Krishna, PhD; Silvana Mossano, and Linda Reinstein on July 21 - ADAO - Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

The panel will discuss:

How asbestos and the industry impacts human rights and civil justice around the globe

Fernanda will discuss Brazil’s asbestos mining, exports to the US, and policy advancements 

Ashok and Gopal will discuss how asbestos impacts Bihar, India and the numerous requests to build and operate asbestos plants in Bihar as an example of the national health crisis 

Silvana will discuss the new Eternit Trial in Italy and the community’s fight for human rights and justice

Barry and Linda will discuss a century of human rights violations in the U.S. and what ADAO is doing to end them through legal and legislative strategies 

For further details or to register visit:  

ADAO's website: https://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/

Registration form: https://forms.gle/S7ktpN3jyfg4C5P89 

Gopal Krishna, krishnaruhani@gmail.com,

BANI’s website: www.asbestosfreeindia.org

ADAO was founded by Linda Reinstein and Doug Larkin in 2004 and headquartered in Redondo Beach, California. ADAO is the largest independent organisation in the U.S. dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure, eliminating asbestos-related diseases, and protecting asbestos victims’ civil rights through education, advocacy, and community initiatives. 

BANI’s 20 years of work  

2021-Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) joined "Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW)" launched by Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization(ADAO) as it's Partner for Prevention.

2020-BANI asks, Did Labour Ministry delete its paper on Gov't ban on asbestos?

BANI raises issue of Johnson & Johnson’s Double Standard Regarding Their Asbestos Laden Talcum Powder

2019-BANI spoke at a Panel Discussion in George Washington University about the situation of asbestos & related diseases in India 

Campaign 'victory': Bihar considers ban on asbestos, carcinogenic to humans

BANI becomes subject matter of a defamation case in Google India Private Ltd vs M/S. Visakha Industries on 10 December, 2019

BANI campaigned for inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the PIC list of Rotterdam Convention at COP 9Chrysotile asbestos is a candidate chemical in the category of industrial chemicals that has been recommended by the Chemicals Review Committee (CRC) for listing in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention but for which the Conference of the Parties (COP) has not yet been able to reach consensus.

2018-Amidst BANI's struggle for asbestos free India New rules to make Maharashtra State free of asbestos

2017-As a result of struggle of several years Bihar Pollution Board cancelled permissions for seven asbestos plants across the state

BANI campaigned for inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the PIC list of Rotterdam Convention at COP 8. 

2016- BANI exposes India's doublespeak in environment protection

2015-BANI reveals Millions of lives at stake as India makes up its mind whether white asbestos is deadly

BANI campaigned for inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the PIC list of Rotterdam Convention at COP 7.

2014-BANI’s Application in Bihar Human Rights Commission on Death of asbestos worker in Bihiya's asbestos factory

In the absence of “sufficient evidence”, Competition Commission of India completed the probe on a reference made by Enforcement Directorate, Serious Fraud Investigation Office on the basis of a complaint received by them and concluded that the major players in the manufacturing of Asbestos Cement Sheets are  not indulging in cartelized conduct. BANI holds the view that the very existence of Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers Association as a non-profit organisation is a proof of cartelisation.    

2013-"Bihar Chief Minister promises to 'puncture' construction of asbestos factories" | (gban.net)

BANI campaigned for inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the PIC list of Rotterdam Convention at COP 6. India reversed its position and opposed the listing of chrysotile asbestos under Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention at the sixth meeting of Conference of Parties (COP6) on May 8 in Geneva. 

2012-Conference passes Patna resolution for asbestos free Bihar, Pictures of Conference on Environmental & Occupational Health, Patna.

Amid incessant campaign, Competition Commission of India initiated a probe against cartelisation by Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers Association wherein 6 major players-Everest Industries Ltd, Hyderabad Industries Ltd, Ramco Industries Ltd, Sahyadri Industries Ltd, UAL Industries Ltd. (UAL), and Visaka Industries Ltd. constituted 80-85% of the market share.    

2011-Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) reached National Human Rights Commission seeking ban on all kinds of asbestos. NHRC issues notice on white asbestos to govt ministries | Hindustan Times

BANI campaigned for inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the PIC list of Rotterdam Convention at COP 5. It succeeded when Indian delegation agreed to the listing of chrysotile asbestos in the PIC list, and received a standing ovation at the plenary despite this there was no consensus on the listing of chrysotile asbestos in the PIC list.  

2010-BANI shared it's version with International Consortium of Investigative Journalists which conducted a nine-month long investigation and came out with "New revelations about asbestos use in India"

2009-BANI highlighted the misinformation campaign of the asbestos industry. Asbestos industry in trouble over ad campaign - The Hindu

2008-BANI wrote in Indian Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, a publication of Indian Association of Occupational Health A government under an asbestos roof
BANI campaigned for inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the PIC list of Rotterdam Convention at COP 4.

Both Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Union Ministry of Labour & Employment informed Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha that "Out of a total of Rs. 59.66 lacs allocated for the study by Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, the Asbestos Cement Products Manufactures Association has contributed Rs. 16 lacs" on March 20, 2008 and March 17, 2008 respectively.

2007-BANI wrote about Russian asbestos position being caught in 1986 time frame

2006-BANI wrote about White asbestos, a health time bomb

BANI campaigned for the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention at its third Conference of the Parties (COP3)COP3 decided that the agenda for its next ordinary meeting shall include further consideration of a draft decision to amend  to include chrysotile asbestos.

2005-BANI used report of International Labour Organisation and World Bank Group to raise awareness about asbestos related diseases

2004-BANI highlighted the reply of Indian health minister in the parliament admitting asbestos related diseases caused due to exposure.  Say no to white asbestos - Rediff.com Business

BANI welcomed entry into force of the UN's Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International TradeIt endorsed its decision treview inclusion of four amphibole forms of asbestos, amosite, actinolite, anthopyhllite and tremolite, in the interim PIC procedure besides chrysotile asbestos.

2003-BANI wrote to the Financial Express to contest the propaganda of asbestos industry regarding mythical safe & controlled use of asbestos.

2002-BANI used verdict in Japan to raise awareness about asbestos related diseases. BANI was formally launched.  

2001-BANI expressed its support for the decision of the WTO Appellate Body in European Communities-Measures Affecting Asbestos and Asbestos-Containing Products against Canada  

2000-Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) commenced in the 5th year of Indian Supreme Court’s order of 1995 saying asbestos related diseases follows trail of exposure, & extend the chain of carcinogenic risk beyond the workplace regardless of location of exposure.

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