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, May 15, 2010

Funding for Lung Cancer Promotion

Brazil is the fifth largest producer after Russia, Canada, Kazakstan, China, and one of the major consumers of asbestos in the world.

On March 23, 2010 Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper deemed it fit to give $250,000 of taxpayer money to the Chrysotile Institute (formerly called the Asbestos Institute), a group that promotes the use of asbestos in developing countries. Canada's Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources meeting on 22 March dealt with the $250,000 funding for the Chrysotile Institute.

The Economic Development Agency of Canada and the Department of Natural Resources have given the Chrysotile Institute (formerly called the Asbestos Institute) more than $20 million over the past 25 years. In February 2008, Harper government announced another grant of $750,000 to the Chrysotile Institute for the next three years.

The statistics for overall incidence of/prevalence of environmental and occupational disease and injuries for India is not available and would not be available in near future as well.

As to data no asbestos related diseases in death, mo such data exists and there would not be any such data in future as well because no such data is being collected. There are just six occupational health institutes in the entire country that too in a decaying condition or are grappling with infrastructural problems.

With regard to occupational diseases in particular the only academic estimate available and which has been taken cognizance of (in 2004) by India's National Institute of Occupational Health is the WHO paper by James Leigh et al titled "Global Burden of Disease and Injury Due to Occupational Factors". It noted the "tendency to underreport work-related injuries and traumatic fatalities" in India which is "illustrated by the number reported by it. He has estimated an annual incidence of occupational disease between 924, 700 and 1, 902, 300 and 121, 000 deaths in India. The ILO-reported figures for India (200,000 nonfatal injuries per year, 687 fatal injuries per year) are so low that they are not believable.

Another estimate of occupational fatality rates in India has been made by Takala and Obadia based on Malaysian rates, giving a figure of 36,500 deaths per year. The paper by James Leigh et al used a mean of 45,000 deaths per year for India and 17 million injuries per year. There is no way to dig out data on asbestos disease out of such estimations.

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