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

Misinformation Campaign of Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers Association

Asbestos is an extremely hazardous substance because its fibres which are very small float in the air and get into the lungs. They cannot be expelled and their presence causes mesothilioma, a form of lung cancer; asbestiosis, a form of lung disease, and cancer of gastrointestinal tract. Asbestos is banned in France, Italy, New Zealand, and Japan. Its use is highly regulated in the U.S. and Britain.

Production of asbestos shingles for roof cover is banned in the U.S. Old shingles can be discarded only through hazardous material collections. Workers removing asbestos insulations from heating pipes wear protective clothing to prevent breathing asbestos fibres. Mr. Nicodemus's letter is misleading.

Mohammad Imran, New Jersey

* * *
As usual, the Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers Association is engaged in the dissemination of incorrect information, when it says “there is no ban on asbestos in the U.S., Canada, Russia, China, Brazil, etc.” There are other blatant errors in the letter referred to but due to the limitations of space, I will concentrate on this misstatement.

There are de facto bans on the use of asbestos in Canada and the U.S. In 2009, the latest year for which data is available, these countries respectively used 2,528 tonnes/t (Canada exported more asbestos than it produced) and a paltry 783 tonnes. In Brazil, there is asbestos ban in the States of Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo and the Brazilian Environment Ministry and Health Ministry have both banned the use of asbestos in their departments. China has banned the use of all types of asbestos in friction materials in the automobile industry, the import and export of amphibole asbestos (2005) and, as of June 1, 2011, the use of chrysotile asbestos in many asbestos-cement building products under Chinese national standard GB50574-2010.

Laurie Kazan-Allen,
Coordinator, International Ban Asbestos Secretariat,

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