Campaigning for Justice: On the Asbestos Frontline 2014

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1 Campaigning for Justice: On the Asbestos Frontline 2014 by Laurie Kazan-Allen International Ban Asbestos Secretariat

2 Dr. Irving Selikoff photo courtesy of Bill Ravanesi

3 It brought together a Who's Who of international scientists who had conducted and reported on experimental and human studies of the effects of asbestos Today [2003], asbestos is no longer seen as a material indispensable on technical grounds and a mainstay of industry and the economy. Its progressive banning in developed countries may be seen as the consequence of the momentum initiated in New York in 1964.

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5 Our present problem is to find some way of preventing Dr. Selikoff from creating problems and affecting sales. A direct approach (attacking his character) might be more damaging than helpful and I am only suggesting that we explore, at this time, all avenues open to us.

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7 The evaluation of the biopersistence, pathological response and pleural translocation of chrysotile containing brake dust in comparison to crocidolite asbestos following short term inhalation exposure. No significant pathological response was observed at any time point in the brake dust of chrysotile/brake dust exposure groups in either the lung or pleural cavity.

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9 One of the authors, David Bernstein, has appeared as an expert witness in litigation concerned with alleged health effects of exposure to chrysotile. Honeywell is a defendant in asbestosproduct litigation and its predecessor manufactured the automotive brakes used in this study. There have been periodic communications between Honeywell and the authors concerning the status of this study.

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11 According to World Health Organization data between 1994 and 2008 the United Kingdom had the highest age-adjusted [mesothelioma] mortality rate, at 17.8 per million, followed by Australia, at 16.5 per million

12 The Oxford Dictionary of English defines the mafia as an organized international body of criminals having a complex and ruthless behavioural code exerting a hidden sinister influence.

13 Mafia Profits from criminal enterprises: e.g. sales of narcotics. Organizes commercial operations on a global scale via mafia families Uses extreme methods to silence critics Colludes with other families to maximize profits Corrupts law makers, civil servants, police and judicial officials Pursues a ruthless behavioural code to achieve goals Asbestos Industry Profits from criminal enterprises: e.g. sales of carcinogens Set up a global conspiracy, awarding regional spheres of influence to asbestos conglomerates: e.g. Johns- Manville, Turner & Newall, Eternit Opponents receive death threats, lawsuits, hate mail, public vilification, verbal and physical intimidation, payoffs Organized cartels and pseudo-scientific bodies to divide markets, fix prices, propagate doubt science and influence decision makers Corrupts politicians, scientists, doctors, trade unionists, historians Buries the truth along with the bodies

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15 McNee concluded by stating: In summary, the criteria for listing have been met, this is not a ban, the costs of listing are negligible, but the costs of inaction are potentially huge. The reasons given for standing in the way of this process are not tenable or defensible given what the Convention is and what it is not. We urge that Parties reconsider their views, and noting that all requirements for listing are met, chrysotile asbestos must be listed in Annex III of the Convention to enable the process of information sharing to begin.

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17 Those that stood up to be counted included: the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Cameroon, Gabon, Kenya, Costa Rica, Liberia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Sudan, Israel, Benin, Paraguay, El Salvador and Qatar.

18 In February 2013, Adams wrote: The strict controls placed on asbestos and asbestos products already in New Zealand, and the declining level of international trade in these products will both assist in managing the risks posed by asbestos. However, if future evidence warrants further restrictions, your suggestion of stopping the importation of asbestos products remains a possibility.

19 Compiled by: International Ban Asbestos Secretariat Asbestos Consumption and National Bans 2013 <500 tonnes tonnes ,000 tonnes >10,000 tonnes Bans Sources: USGS Apparent Consumption data (2013) and IBAS National Ban Lists

20 Europe: Defined to include Russia but not former Soviet Asian republics (Kazakhstan etc.). Practically all European consumption is in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Armenia: 94% in 2000 to 99%+ in Asia: Defined as Asian countries east of (and including) Kazakhstan and Iran. C. & S. America: Central and South America. *Data: USGS data averaged over 3 yrs (e.g = avge of 2011, 2012,2013); negative consumption ignored. Compiled by: International Ban Asbestos Secretariat

21 Asian Countries Showing Marked Increases in Annual Asbestos Consumption, 2000 to 2012 (Averaged Data) 2000 (tonnes) 2012 (tonnes) Increase China 387, ,000 50% India 143, , % Indonesia 37, , % Uzbekistan 35,000 67,000 91% Vietnam 24,000 66, % Sri Lanka 13,000 46, % Total 639,000 1,284, % Note: Tonnage data appearing in this table represent USGS apparent consumption values averaged over 3- year intervals (e.g. values appearing under year 2012 are averages of consumptions for 2011, 2012, and 2013).

22 Film: Victims of Chrysotile Asbestos

23 A 2013 Medical Skill and Assessment Report of Asian Occupational Health and Safety Capacity was categorical about the: extreme problems faced by workers to obtain a correct diagnosis and correct medical treatment of occupational diseases like asbestosis; throughout most of Asia, mesothelioma is virtually unknown (undiagnosed); prohibitive costs of travel to healthcare centres, medical tests and treatments; ignorance of most doctors about occupational diseases; shortage of diagnostic equipment, laboratories and specialist doctors; long delays in obtaining diagnoses and certificates of illness; lack of awareness amongst workers and doctors of benefits available for work-related diseases and/or the legal rights of the injured.

24 July 30, 2014: India Managing Director Abhaya Shankar said: Presently, our fibre cement roofing products account for 80 per cent of our revenue, while the green products make up the rest 20 per cent. We see this ratio becoming 60:40 in the next three to four years.

25 Research undertaken for this presentation revealed that between 1960 and 2013, India s usage of asbestos totalled more than 7 million tonnes.

26 August 5, 2014: Vietnam A letter was sent by the Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Western Pacific and the Representative of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to urge him to ban the use of chrysotile (white) asbestos in construction materials in Vietnam.

27 September 29 to October 1, 2014: Indonesia 7th International Seminar of the Asian Asbestos Initiative Sponsors of the event included the Rotterdam Convention, the Basel Convention, the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences. The participants were mainly officials from the Ministries of Environment, Health and Labor from the Governments of China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

28 September 30, 2014: Vietnam At a meeting of civil society partners in Hanoi, it was decided to establish a new campaigning organization: the Vietnam Ban Asbestos Network (VM-BAN). This body will play its part in regional efforts alongside: IBAS, A-BAN (the Asian Ban Asbestos Network), BANJAN (Ban Asbestos Japan), BANKO (Ban Asbestos Korean), Ina-Ban (Indonesian Ban Asbestos Network), B-Ban (Bangladesh Ban Asbestos Network), BANI (Ban Asbestos Network of India), P-Ban (Philippines Ban Asbestos Network) and our civil society partners.

29 October 3, 2014: Philippines

30 October 4, 2014: Japan

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34 October 5, 2014: Thailand Gatecrasher Mathee Udthayopat of Thailand Chrysotile Information Center.

35 October 9, 2014: Japan

36 October 9-10, 2014: Korea

37 October 12-16, 2014: Malaysia

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39 November 24-25, 2014: Thailand

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