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, June 24, 2011

UN Meet Proves Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers' Association Wrong

Press Statement

UN Meet Proves Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers' Association Wrong

BANI Appeals to HIL to Shift to Non-Asbestos Green Building Materials

Work of Indian Govt Officials at UN Chemicals Meet Appreciated

25/6/2011New Delhi: Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) wishes to place on record its appreciation of the role of the Government of India representatives in the Indian delegation at the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP5) to the UN's Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade held in Geneva, Switzerland concluded on 24th.

The meeting which commenced on 20th June dealt will be remembered for Government of India's support for the listing of Chrysotile Asbestos in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention, the PIC list of industrial chemicals. Declaration on Chrysotile Asbestos given below.

The Government of India representatives in the delegation in Geneva, Switzerland are the following:

1. Ms. Mira Mehrishi
Additional Secretary
Ministry of Environment and Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex
Lodhi Road
New Delhi 110003
Tel.: +91 (11) 2436 2285
Fax: +91 (11) 2436 3918

2. Mr. Manoranjan Hota
Hazardous Substances Management Division
Ministry of Environment and Forests
CGO Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi 110003
Tel.: +91 (11) 2436 7663
Fax: +91 (11) 2436 7663

3. Mr. Sanjay Bansal
Department of Chemicals and Petro-Chemicals
Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers
Room No. 230, A-Block
Shastri Bhawan
New Delhi 110001
Tel.: +91 (98) 1051 9226
Fax: +91 (11) 2338 8628

4. Ms. Jyoti Singhal
Under Secretary
Department of Agriculture and Cooperation
Room n° 478-A
Krisho Bhavan
New Delhi 110114
Tel.: +91 (11) 2338 7962
Fax: +91 (11) 2338 7962

BANI salutes the work of these members in safeguarding national interest in Geneva. BANI also applauds the role of Rotterdam Convention Alliance in highlighting the public health concerns.

BANI expresses its sadness and dismay at the presence of chrysotile asbestos industry representatives at the CoP 5 in Geneva, Switzerland who are resisting the ban on chrysotile asbestos trade although its mining is banned in India. These representatives include:

Mr. Manohar Lal
Director General
Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers'
502, Mansrovar, 90 Nehru Place
New Delhi 110019
Tel.: +91 (11) 4105 5427
Fax: +91 (11) 4652 1496
Email: /

Mr. Abhaya Shankar
Asbestos Information Centre
502 Mansarovar, 90 Nehru Place
New Delhi 110019
Tel.: +91 (40) 2370 1872
Fax: +91 (11) 2370 0601

The UN List of participants is attached.

ASBESTOS INFORMATION CENTRE are one and the same organisation and they operate from the same premises. Their primary task is to propagate misinformation about safe and controlled use of chrysotile asbestos. COP5 has proven that their propaganda will not succeed. In a display of manifest unethical practice, while they operate as NGOs which are meant to be non-profit groups, these two groups act to protect the profit of chrysotile asbestos based companies at any cost.

BANI has disclosed that Abhaya Shankar who represented ASBESTOS INFORMATION CENTRE at COP5 is the Managing Director of Hyderabad Industries Limited (HIL), a CK Birla group company engaged in the production of asbestos cement products.

Instead of abandoning asbestos based projects despite indisputable evidence against the lung cancer causing chrysotile asbestos, HIL, one of the largest producers of asbestos cement sheets in the world has embarked on a Rs 100-crore expansion plan and it is in the process of adding another asbestos sheets production line at its Satharia plant, located 40 kms from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh involving an investment of Rs 50 crore with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes per annum taking its total installed capacity to 1 million tonnes per annum. The company has plans of a chrysotile asbestos based manufacturing facility at a cost of Rs 50 crore in Kumarbagh, West Champaran, Bihar in an agricultural field. BANI has visited its plant site which is facing opposition of the farmers.

HIL is currently a leader in asbestos sheets production in the country with a share of 21 per cent in the Rs 3,000-crore market. In 2009-10, its turnover and net profit stood at Rs 756 crore and Rs 89.7 crore respectively.

Its brand Charminar is in the market for over six decades. The company's target was to cross a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore three years down the line. At present, HIL has 12 manufacturing plants spread across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, UP, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. The company has taken over of a fiber cement sheets manufacturing facility situated at Saidpura, Dora Bassi, Punjab, with a capacity of 45,000 MT/Annum.

BANI encourages HIL to go for non-asbestos based green building products now that it has learnt about hazardous effects of chrysotile asbestos at COP5 in Geneva. HIL should pay heed to the resolutions of International Labour Organisation and World Organisation referred to in the Supreme Court order, issued on January 21, 2011 seeking elimination of future use of asbestos based products. The Court too cognisance of the Ban White Asbestos Bill pending in the Parliament.

BANI demands that HIL should abandon its plans to set up new chrysotile asbestos plants in Bihar, UP, Punjab or anywhere in the country taking cognisance of the reiteration of the hazardous nature of chrysotile asbestos fibers. The decision of the Government of India with regard to chrysotile asbestos marks the beginning of the end of the asbestos industry in India.

BANI underlines that Sanjaya Kanoria, Chairman of the Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers' Association (ACPMA) is the Managing Director, A Infrastructure Ltd which has proposed to set up a asbestos based plant in Madhubani, Bihar. BANI wonders about the name "A INFRASTRUCTURE", does substituting the alphabet "A" in place of "Asbestos" make it less hazardous and a non-carcinogen?

BANI notes that ACPMA Director General who was at COP5 is a retired IAS officer of 1977 batch, Rajasthan cadre. He was Joint Secretary and Director General Labour Welfare in the Ministry of Labour, Government of India. BANI wonders as to what would be the outcome of the labour welfare done for asbestos workers during his tenure. He is also President of an NGO named Assist workers engaged in welfare of unorganized sector workers. Do both these NGOs ACPMA and Assist workers work to protect asbestos workers who suffer from incurable and fatal diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma?

It is about time Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers' Association advised its members to shift to manufacturing of non-Asbestos Green Building materials because no amount of advertisements, advertorials and public relations exercise can stop an idea whose time has come.

Study after study has linked the killer fibers of chrysotile asbestos to lung disease but Canadian government which got rid of asbestos fibers from its Parliament Buildings and its Prime Minister's residence, is acting at the behest of the asbestos companies to resist putting warning labels on asbestos products and is suppressing findings of research. Although UN Conference ended without chrysotile asbestos being listed. The recommendation to list chrysotile asbestos will be put forward at the next Conference of the Parties in 2013, Indian government has taken a public interest position and has disassociated itself from Canadian government which blocked its listing.

For Details: Gopal Krishna, Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI), Mb: 09818089660, 07739308480 E-mail:, Blog:,

Declaration on Chrysotile Asbestos

Recognizing the achievement in adding the hazardous chemicals aldicarb, alachlor and endosulfan to the Rotterdam Convention;

Recalling that decision RC-3/3 of the third Conference of the Parties, adopted by consensus, found that the criteria for listing chrysotile asbestos in Annex III were met;

Deeply concerned that the listing of chrysotile asbestos nonetheless has been prevented by a small number of Parties for three consecutive Conferences of the Parties;

Noting that the reasons put forward for preventing listing by consensus were not relevant to the criteria of the convention;

Encouraged by the willingness of some Parties to reconsider their position and support the listing;

We undersigned:

Call upon all Parties to hold paramount the protection of human health and the environment;

Resolve to move forward to list chrysotile asbestos in Annex III and improve the effectiveness of the Convention in listing chemicals in the future;

Declare our intent to pursue further action under the Convention to ensure that the export of hazardous chemicals occurs only with the prior informed consent of the importing Party and that the Party is provided with accurate information on the characteristics, potential dangers, safe handling and use of those chemicals.


• The African Group (Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Cote
d´Ivoire, Djibuti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya,
Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa,
Sudan, Togo and Zambia)

• Argentina

• Australia

• Chile

• Colombia

• The European Union and its member states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom)

• Jamaica

• Japan

• Jordan

• New Zealand

• Norway

• Panama

• Peru

• Switzerland

• Uruguay

• Venezuela

1 comment:

dancilhoney said...

Mesothelioma cancer is certainly such an unfortunate illness, and truly could well have been possible to avoid had most people recognized back then what we understand now. It's also a waste that several people get irritated regarding the asbestos cancer campaigns on television, but those impacted must to be recompensed fairly IMO.

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