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.

Friday, November 27, 2009

End the Trade in Asbestos Cancer!

International Coverage

2009.09.30: Mesothelioma News- Canada continues to mine lethal asbestos fibers
World Health Organization continues to condemn the use of toxic chrysotile asbestos and the mining of the lethal substance while Quebec actively mines the cancer causing product.Canadian provinces continue to allow LAB Chrysotile to mine asbestos materials known to cause fatal cancers.

2009.09: Special Report: International. Asbestos production increases despite WHO opposition
The Lancet: Production levels of asbestos are not declining; and have stabilised at roughly 2·2 million metric tonnes a year, around the same level they stood at in 1960. Canada was formerly the world’s leading producer of chrysotile; and its continuing support for the industry has raised concern.

2009.07.21: Settlement Reached For Cleanup of Asbestos Mine
A legal settlement allowing for the cleanup and monitoring on the nation's largest former chrysotile asbestos mine and mill in Vermont helps raise awareness of the prevalence of asbestos in society, says a New York personal injury attorney who concentrates in asbestos litigation.

Scientific And Medical Facts About Chrysotile Asbestos Released By The Environmental Information Association And The Asbestos Desease Awareness Organization
2009.06.20: The EIA and the ADAO today announced the development of the Chrysotile Asbestos Fact Sheet (CAFS). The EIA and ADAO concluded, along with the majority of scientific agencies, that there is sufficient evidence to support that all forms of asbestos, including chrysotile, are carcinogenic and are responsible for asbestos related lung cancer, mesothelioma, laryngeal and ovarian cancers.

2009.04.30: Scientists Declare All Forms of Asbestos Toxic.
Through the development of the Chrysotile Asbestos Fact Sheet (CAFS), the Environmental Information Agency (EIA) and the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization have concluded that chrysotile asbestos is a carcinogenic substance.

2009.05.05: Indians Angry At Canada’s Continued Promotion of Asbestos.
This happened in the wake of the shocking act of Canadian government to continue its promotion of the killer fiber by “a grant of $ 250, 000" in its current budget despite Health Canada report indicting the Quebec and Canadian government’s disgraceful support to the asbestos industry and the recent report “India’s Asbestos Time Bomb” revealing corporate barbarism of worst kind.

2009.04.26-27: Asian Asbestos Conference blasts Canada
The asbestos lobby led by the Chrysotile Institute has been feeding lies and myths to promote the white asbestos.

2009.04.22: British Expert Accuses Ottawa of Suppressing Cancer Report
Globe and Mail: There are interests in continuing production of Canadian chrysotile asbestos, said Dr Trevor Ogden, member of Health Canada’s asbestos committee’s report, editor-in-chief of the Annals of Occupational Hygene and advisor to the British government.

2009.04.03: Gobe and Mail: Canada’s Asbestos Shame
Martin Mittelstaedt: It's not just that Canada is home to companies that sell asbestos abroad. The federal and Quebec governments actively promote it, spending tens of millions since 1984 to encourage the remaining markets, mainly in developing countries. Ottawa has even mobilized Canadian diplomatic staff, from Jakarta to Washington, as recently as last summer, to stand on guard against asbestos bans in the roughly 70 countries that still buy it from Canada. The biggest purchaser, taking about a quarter of Canada's output, is India, where it's easy to find workers using one of the most dangerous materials in the world clad only in T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops. Ottawa said it doesn't verify whether buyers follow Canadian-style rules when using asbestos, arguing that seeking such information would violate foreign sovereignty. "Anyone who says there's controlled use of asbestos in the Third World is either a liar or a fool," says Barry Castleman, a consultant who helped to advise Europeans in 2000 on Canada's unsuccessful attempt to overturn a French ban on Canadian asbestos. In July, the Canadian embassy in Washington sent a letter to the U.S. Senate, which was considering an asbestos ban. The letter conceded that "all forms of asbestos fibres, including chrysotile, are carcinogenic," but it maintained that its use can be safe if proper precautions are followed. The Senate ignored the advice and voted unanimously this month to ban asbestos.

2009.03.27: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRAC) reconfirmed this week that all commercial asbestos fibers cause lung cancer and mesothelioma.
The confirmation by IARC – the world’s leading cancer research agency – that all forms of asbestos, including its most commonly used form of asbestos chrysotile, cause lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, and mesothelioma, leave no doubt that the prevailing medical evidence is irrefutable as to asbestos’ carcinogenicity.

2009.03.26: International Agency for Research on Cancer reconfirms asbestos dangers
Recent meeting of World Health Organization Research Group again reported that all commercial asbestos fibers - including especially chrysotile asbestos - cause deadly diseases and cited important new findings for women

2009.3.07: Eternit Italy bosses will stand trial in December
AP: An Italian judge ordered on 22nd July 2009 a Belgian man and a Swiss man to stand trial for alleged negligence leading to hundreds of deaths linked to asbestos plants. Prosecutors say Stephan Schmidheiny of Switzerland and Jean-Louis de Cartier of Belgium were key shareholders in Eternit, a Swiss construction company. They allege the two were ultimately responsible for the death of some 2,000 workers and residents from asbestos-related diseases.

2009.03.03: Chrysotile Institute Retreats in france
A lawsuit for criminal libel brought by the Chrysotile Institute against the French asbestos Victims Organization collapsed when the Chrysotile Institute suddenly withdrew from the case. The pretences invoked by the Chrysotile Institute's lawyer bordered on the ridiculous. He stated that the defense was trying to hold a trial of asbestos and that his client was not willing to participate in the debate.

2009.01.29: The Fatal (Canadian Asbestos) Phenomenon.
Die Zeit (The Times): Germany's leading newspaper rebukes Canada as the only western country which aggressively torpedoes every international agreement to limit the production and use of asbestos. This shocking policy elicits outrage in the European Union.
German -

2009.04: Asian Asbestos Conference, Hong Kong, blasts Canada
The asbestos lobby led by the Canadian Chrysotile Institute has been feeding lies and myths to promote the white asbestos and our governments in the region have been falling prey to such campaign which is exposing hundreds of thousands of workers and community people to this known hazardous and carcinogenic. substance.

2009.03.24: How much money is Canada putting aside for future asbestos claims?
Discussions are held in India about the growing public health problems in India caused by chrysotile asbestos, much of it from Canada. Even U.S based Dow Chemicals Company has set aside $2.2 billion to address future asbestos-related liabilities arising out of its acquisition of the Union Carbide Company. The discussions dwell on asbestos and corporate accountability.

2009.01.29: Brazilian Minister Bans Asbestos
The Ministry of the Environment's ban is another step in the long campaign to protect workers and society from asbestos. The minister pledged to continue his efforts until there was a complete ban throughout Brazil. He said that it was likely that the Health Ministry would be the next government department to ban asbestos.

2009.01.23: Canadian Exports of Chrysotile to India Must be Banned

There are no reliable statistics, or compensation, for Mesothelioma or other asbestos related illness in Indian workers. India’s use of asbestos has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Thanks to greatly increased industrial activity it is the largest importer of Russian and Canadian asbestos.

2008.11.14: What Happens to Canadian Asbestos in India?

"What's the difference between land mines and asbestos?" asks Dr Barry Castleman, author of a respected book on the dangers of asbestos. "A key difference, of course, is that Canada does not export landmines."

2008.11.12: European Trade Unions want asbestos covered by the Rotterdam Convention
The European Trade Union Confederation accuses Canada of once again trying to form a coalition of countries to block the inclusion of chrysotile on the list of substances covered by the Rotterdam Convention. It’s unacceptable for chrysotile asbestos to once again escape the regulatory mechanisms for hazardous substances provided for by the Rotterdam Convention.

2008.10.27: Stop Canada exporting asbestos

The Economist: The reward for Canada lending its boy-scout reputation to this cause was that the other countries would "tolerate higher-cost Canadian producers" and thereby allow its asbestos industry to remain profitable, according to a ministerial briefing-note obtained by a researcher.

2008.10.23: Canada’s hazardous hypocrisy: A curious liking for asbestos
The Economist: Asbestos risks have not stopped Canada from exporting large quantities of the mineral to developing countries, especially in Asia, nor discouraged the government from paying to promote its use abroad.

2008.09: World Call of Conscience to Prime Minister Harper
150 scientists and organizations signed a petititon to Prime Minister Harper to stop blocking the Rotterdam Convention by refusing to put chrysotile asbestos on the hazardous material list. The Canadian Rideau Institute on International Affairs' report, Exporting Harm, by Kathleen Ruff, pp. 26ff

2008.05: Canada is the only developed nation still producing asbestos

Chrysotile asbestos called a deadly threat by the International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Association for Cancer Research and many more health agencies.

2008.03.27: Asbestos banned in South Africa
South Africa mined crocidolite, amosite and chrysotile asbestos extensively from the late 1800s until 2001. South Africa joins more than 50 other countries that have banned asbestos. Final regulations prohibit the use, processing, manufacturing, and importing and exporting of any asbestos or asbestos-containing materials.

2008.04.10: Stop Exporting Asbestos! An Indian Plea to Canadians

While the Canadian Government takes great care to ensure its own safety against the dangers of asbestos, you’ll probably never hear them make too big a fuss about it — what with Canada being a leading exporter of the patient killer — it just wouldn’t be economical to draw too much attention to it. Please read this appeal from India for Canadian's to eliminate the use and export of Canadian chrysotile to the global south.

2007.12.17: No regulated conditions for asbestos use in developing countries like India
Ottawa Citizen: Most workers don’t wear masks on the job and companies don’t uphold labour standards. Most asbestos-related health problems in India go undocumented. Dr Joshi.

2006.08.17: Asbestos lawsuits forced almost 80 US companies into bankruptcy

International Herald Tribune: To end the lawsuits, members of the U.S. Senate last year proposed creating an asbestos fund that would provide compensation to victims . The Congressional Budget Office estimated that claims might total $150 billion in the next 50 yaars.

2006.03.30: Australians call for stop to Canada’s export of asbestos
Selling asbestos is illegal in Canada. However the Canadian Government sees nothing wrong in continuing to produce asbestos and to export the killer fibre. Most of its exports go to developing countries. Please sign the petition to protest against the Canadian asbestos trade.

2005: Call for an International Ban on Asbestos

American Journal of Industrial Medicine 47:471-474 (2005). By the end of 2004 national asbestos bans are scheduled to be in place in all 25 member countries of the European Union as well as Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Uruguay, Honduras, Australia, Gabon, Seychelles, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. South Africa and Japan have also announced the intention to ban asbestos, and public health campaigns for asbestos bans have been under way since the 1990s in Brazil, South Korea, Vietnam, and India.

2001: WTO - European Community rejects Canada's asbestos position

The Panel and the Appellate Body both rejected Canada’s challenge to France import ban on asbestos and asbestos-containing products, reinforcing the view that the WTO Agreements support members’ ability to protect human health and safety at the level of protection they deem appropriate.

2000: WTO backs French ban on Canada's asbestos goods.

The World Trade Organization, citing a large number of asbestos-related cancer deaths, has upheld a ban by France on Canadian asbestos. The asbestos industry in Quebec, which accounts for the employment of 2,500 workers, is valued at $224 million annually.

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