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, January 13, 2024

Brazilians protest against delay in verdict against asbestos mine, India continues to procure asbestos from Brazil

Towards the end of 2023 Brazilian asbestos victims demonstrated in Brasilia over the postponement of verdict by the Supreme Court (STF) which could have shut down operations at the Brazil’s Cana Brava asbestos mine, the only mine still producing asbestos in Brazil. This long-awaited verdict was scheduled to be delivered in early November 2023. 

“As in many other countries, our Supreme Court can sometimes move at a glacial pace. Nevertheless, it is most unusual for the Court’s timetable to be altered at the last minute and without any explanation. The case pending was relatively simple with the unconstitutional nature of a state law in contravention of a STF ruling having already been decided. The Ministers – as STF Judges are called – were asked to determine whether mining should cease immediately or whether a one-year phase-out period should be allowed. The information vacuum which currently exists regarding this litigation is something I have never seen before,” said Leonardo Amarante, the lawyer  who has been representing members of the Brazilian Association of the Asbestos-Exposed (ABREA). 

Commenting on the intriguing judicial situation, Laurie Kazan-Allen wrote, "Brazilians are used to long delays in the litigation process. Asbestos victims, many of who are living on borrowed time, do not have the luxury of waiting for justice to be done and yet...The last asbestos mine in Brazil is still in production; under an unconstitutional state law in contravention of a Supreme Court ruling (2017), thousands of tonnes of asbestos are mined and exported every year.the case over the illegality of this state law was due to be discussed at the beginning of this month (November 2023)....there was no explanation just an announcement that there had been an indefinite postponement. Kicking this decision into the long grass means that asbestos production at the SAMA mine, owned by Eternit SA, can continue indefinitely." 

India's imports of chrysotile asbestos has been showing significant growth. Imports of asbestos were 3,61,164 tonnes in 2019-20. The imports of asbestos were mainly from Russia (85%), Brazil , Kazakhstan and Hungary (3% each), and Poland & South Africa (2% each). 

In 2022, India's of import of Asbestos was $281,013.30K and quantity 425,981,000Kg. India imported Asbestos from Brazil ($108,890.77K , 169,134,000 Kg), Russian Federation ($89,159.99K , 145,398,000 Kg), Turkey ($27,655.51K , 30,665,800 Kg), Georgia ($25,760.20K , 34,053,200 Kg), Kazakhstan ($13,976.19K , 21,378,600 Kg). In 2022, top exporters of Asbestos were Brazil ($96,647.49K , 197,096,000 Kg), Kazakhstan ($76,536.29K, 249,663,000 Kg), China ($13,827.18K , 48,938,300 Kg), India ($1,436.28K , 1,969,430 Kg), United States ($143.57K , 386,000 Kg).

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