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, February 12, 2011

Anti-Asbestos Group Pleads to Stop Export

Reports said Friday that an anti-asbestos group in Canada encouraged Quebec government to stop supporting asbestos exports to India.

Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff said in a statement that Canada must stop exporting asbestos, a toxic material commonly used for manufacturing materials such as roofing shingles, ceiling, floor tiles and cement products because of its fire-retardant and insulation properties.

Recent studies cautioned that when asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed, microscopic fibers will become airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs, causing significant health problems attributed to the toxic substance. According to anti-asbestos campaigners, Balcorp spokesperson, Guy Versailles, announced Thursday they will join a mission to India next week to promote safe use of asbestos. Balcorp is a company engaged in international trade and marketing.

On Thursday, Versailles said they will encourage Indian companies to import their asbestos from Quebec and generate revenue for the provincial economy. He added that it will make it easier for other asbestos companies to export their products. Kathleen Ruff of the anti-asbestos group from Rideau Institute believed it will be impossible to regulate safe use of asbestos throughout India because working conditions are so poor.

She said that when the asbestos cement products are dispersed, villagers will be put at great risk posing significant health problems attributed to asbestos exposure. Studies showed that long exposure to high concentrations of asbestos fibers caused diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the protective lining covering the internal body organs.

Meanwhile, Ignatieff said that it will be crucial for the Canadian government to help asbestos workers find employment in another industry. Balcorp, on the other hand, said they are considering paying for routine inspections in India to make sure the workers are protected from possible health problems.
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