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.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Our study on health & asbestos also funded by Asbestos Inc: Govt

NEW DELHI, MARCH 20 : In a clear conflict of interest, the government today admitted in Parliament that the first comprehensive study to find out the environmental and health impacts of asbestos on workers is partly funded by the asbestos industry itself. The findings of the study will be submitted by the year-end.

Union Ministry of State for Environment and Forests Namo Narain Meena admitted during question hour today that “out of a total of Rs 59.66 lakh allocated for the study by Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, the Asbestos Cement Products Manufactures Association has contributed Rs 16 lakh”.

Minister of State for Labour and Employment Oscar Fernandes (with his officials at the ILO conference) had made a similar statement on March 17. The Labour Ministry justified this by saying it was to “ensure cooperation of the industry”.

The National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Ahmedabad has been entrusted with the study on the impact of chrysotile (white) asbestos, with the objective “to find out the concentration of asbestos fibres in the work zone and to assess the health status of the workers and the residents in the vicinity of the industry”.

The study is being carried out in major asbestos-based products manufacturing units located in Kolkata, Silvasa, Vapi and Hyderabad.

Apart from determining the domestic policy, the study is crucial to firming India’s position on chrysotile asbestos in the Rotterdam Convention. Under the convention, an expert body recommends whether a hazardous product should be placed on a special list which requires countries to obtain prior consent before they can export the product.

March 21, 2008

Indian Express

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