3 cntents Chrystile in the 21st Century Chrystile: A Natural Mineral Fibre Frm Asbests t Chrystile A Brief Histry f Chrystile and Amphible Cnsumptin The Many Uses f Chrystile Chrystile and Amphibles in Tday s Wrld PAGE 5 Scientific Facts abut Chrystile PAGE What Type f Asbests? The Dse Makes the Pisn Why chrystile is s different frm amphibles as far as health risk is cncerned? Is chrystile a threat t health? Chrystile-Free, But Nt Risk-Free Change in Regulatins: A Mre Reasnable Apprach Occupatinal Expsure t Chrystile: Facts Myths and Perceptins abut Chrystile PAGE The Evlutin f Knwledge The Western Wrld: A Different Issue The Use f Misleading Science: The 100, 000 Annual Death Myth The Anti-Asbests Lbby: Lking Out fr Yur Health r Their Wealth? Chrystile: An Essential Cmmdity Chrystile Prducts in the Develping Wrld Chrystile Cement is Prduced by Lw Energy-Cnsuming Technlgy Chrystile Cement has a Lng Useful Service Life Chrystile Cement is made frm Simple Starting Materials Chrystile Cement Presents a Relatively Lw Risk during its Manufacture Chrystile Cement Presents a Relatively Lw Risk when in Use PAGE PAGE Chrystile Cement Presents a Relatively Lw Risk when Stred r Transprted, Prir t r after Use Chrystile Cement Cnstitutes a Relatively Lw Risk at Final Dispsal Site Trade Unin Psitins n Chrystile The Safe and Respnsible Use f Chrystile 52
4 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS Page 4 Intrductin Thrughut the whle wrld, very few natural r synthetic substances have initiated as much debate as the use f chrystile. Very few prducts cntaining natural r man-made fibres, have been studied as clsely as the naturally ccurring asbests fibres. The evlutin f knwledge btained frm the thusands f published studies and reprts is impressive, especially in the last tw decades when advanced technlgy made it pssible t understand hw breathable fibres can affect the human bdy, in particular, which fibres and at what dse. Fr many years nw, we have witnessed a cmmercial war claiming t rely n scientific r technical facts. Mst f the time, the crusade against chrystile relies n media tactics that unfrtunately supprt ther interests than health. T ften, regardless f the scientific r technical data which supprts the safe use f chrystile, detractrs and activists simply play with peple s emtins. Since the chrystile debate centers n the health and safety f the general ppulatin, as well as the wrkers, it is then nt unusual t hear abut drastic asbests ban prpsals. This brchure is abut facts as ppsed t perceptins. While it cannt be as exhaustive as the thusands f scientific papers that have been written n this subject, it des attempt t give readers a cmprehensive verview f tday s chrystile.
5 Chrystile in the 21st Century in a few wrds Chrystile is a naturally ccurring fibrus silicate mineral which des nt burn r rt. It is fund thrughut the wrld like in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Eurpe, Kazakhstan, Russia, Suth Africa and the United States f America; It is pssible t trace written dcumentatin f the use f chrystile back t the days f the Rman Empire; It is resistant t mst chemicals, sluble in acid, it is flexible and pssesses high tensile strength; The wrd asbests is a cmmercial term t indicate any fibrus mineral with a fibrus frm. In fact, there are many types f asbests fibres which are divided int tw families: the serpentine and the amphibles; All the amphible mines, lcated mainly in Suth Africa and Australia, were clsed in the late 20th century; Bth types f asbests (serpentine and amphibles) shuld never be included in the same categry. Page 5 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS
6 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS Chrystile: A Natural Mineral Fibre Chrystile is a naturally ccurring fibrus silicate mineral which des nt burn r rt. It is fund thrughut the wrld, such as: Eurpe, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Suth Africa, the United States f America, etc. It is resistant t mst chemicals, sluble in acid, it is flexible and pssesses high tensile strength. This unique cmbinatin f extrardinary prperties makes chrystile an extremely useful material which has been marketed fr many decades. Chrystile has been used as a majr cmpnent in lightweight, reinfrced cement prducts, frictin materials and high temperature seals and gaskets, etc. Chrystile has been knwn fr ver 2000 years, being used initially fr burial clths, il lamp wicks and ther textiles. But it is nly in the 19th century that chrystile fibre was first mined cmmercially in Russia, Italy and Canada. Page 6
7 Frm Asbests t Chrystile Why d we refer t chrystile and nt t asbests? Because the wrd asbests is a generic wrd and cmmercial term t indicate any silicate, fibrus mineral with a fibrus frm. In fact, there are many types f asbests fibres which are divided int tw families: the serpentine and the amphibles. Except fr sharing the same cmmercial name asbests, being nn-flammable and having a fibrus nature, these tw families are very different. Their chemical cmpsitin, their prperties and industrial uses are drastically different frm ne family t the ther. Nt surprisingly, their dangerus and ptential adverse health effects are als radically different. In fact, the tw types f asbests (serpentine and amphibles) shuld never be included in the same categry. There is generally a cnsensus in the scientific cmmunity, as stated in the latest (2004) Wrld Health Organizatin (WHO) reprt, that serpentine and amphibles shuld always be clearly differentiated. Chrystile cmes frm the serpentine grup, whereas the ther cmmercially knwn fibre types, tremlite, amsite and crcidlite are frm the amphible grup. Page 7 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS
8 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS Page 8 A Brief Histry f Chrystile and Amphible Cnsumptin The wrd asbests cmes frm the Greek wrd meaning inextinguishable r indestructible. The name f chrystile, ne f the mst cmmn frms f asbests, is derived frm the Greek wrds chryss (gld) and tils (fibre) r gld fibre. It is pssible t trace written dcumentatin f the use f chrystile back t the Rman Empire. Hwever, evidence f the use f asbests in pttery and clgging f lg dwellings, dating back 3000 BC, has been fund frm archaelgical digs in Scandinavia. Chrystile was used by many different cultures fr hundreds f useful purpses. The use f chrystile fibres n a true industrial scale began in Italy, early in the 19th century with the develpment f textiles. By the end f the 19th century, significant chrystile depsits had been identified thrughut the wrld and explitatin had begun in Canada, Italy and Russia. Mining f amphibles (crcidlite) started in Suth Africa late in the 19th century. Right at the beginning f the 20th century, the wrld demand fr chrystile and amphible fibres grew spectacularly fr numerus applicatins, in particular fr thermal insulatin. The develpment f the Hatschek machine in 1904, fr the cntinuus fabricatin f sheets frm an asbests-cement cmpsite, als pened an imprtant field f industrial applicatin fr asbests fibres, as did the develpment f the autmbile industry fr asbests brakes, clutches, and gaskets. Wrld War II supprted the grwth f all types f asbests fibre prductin fr military applicatins, typically in thermal insulatin and fire prtectin. Lse asbests fibres, r frmulatins cntaining asbests fibres fr spray catings, were widely used in the cnstructin and shipyard industries fr fire prtectin and heat and sund insulatin. Such applicatins were later extended int the residential and industrial cnstructin several decades after WWII, particularly in the develpment f Nrth America and the recnstructin f Eurpe, where millins f tns f different types f asbests fibres were used.
9 The Many Uses f Chrystile The main prperties f chrystile fibres that can be explited in industrial applicatins are their thermal, electrical, and sund insulatin; nn flammability; matrix reinfrcement (cement, plastic, and resins); adsrptin capacity (filtratin, liquid sterilizatin); wear and frictin prperties (frictin materials); and chemical inertia (except in acids). These unique prperties have led t several majr classes f industrial prducts and applicatins. The reinfrcing prperties f chrystile fibres have been widely utilized in fibre-cement prducts, mstly by the cnstructin and waterwrks industries. Prducts such as bards, pipes, and sheets represent, by far, the largest wrldwide industrial cnsumptin f chrystile fibres, an estimated 80% f the market in With market changes, chrystile-cement prducts nw prbably accunt fr mre than 90% f ttal fibre sales. Finally, the cmbined reinfrcing effects and high adsrptin capacity f chrystile fibres were explited in a variety f applicatins t increase dimensinal stability, typically in vinyl r asphalt tiles and asphalt rad surfacing. In recent years, industrial applicatins invlve chrystile fibres bnded within an rganic r inrganic matrix. Page 9 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS
10 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS Page 10 Chrystile-cement prducts accunt fr the bulk f the wrld prductin. In the United States, the majr use is in rfing cmpunds (62%), fllwed by diaphragms in chlrine manufacturing. Small amunts f chrystile als are used in the manufacture f sme insulatin, wven and plastic prducts. Chrystile and amphible fibres als have been widely used in the fabricatin f papers and felts fr flring and rfing prducts, pipeline wrapping, electrical insulatin and textiles, cmprising yarn, thread, clth, tape, r rpe. They were als used in thermal and electrical insulatin and frictin prducts in brakes r clutch pads.
11 10 Scientific Facts abut Chrystile in a few wrds There is an verwhelming number f published data shwing that the mrtality experience f wrkers handling amphibles is much mre severe than that f wrkers expsed t chrystile nly; All chemical substances will exhibit a txic effect given a large enugh dse. If the dse is lw enugh, even a highly txic substance will cease t cause a harmful effect; Like all minerals and agents that can cause cancer the Internatinal Agency fr Research n Cancer has identified 417 agents, mixtures and expsures that are certainly, prbably r pssibly carcingenic t humans the risk is prprtinal t the expsure level; Lw expsures t chrystile d nt present a detectable r an unacceptable level f risk t health; Chrystile is cleared rapidly frm the lung. Recent animal experimentatins (2003 t 2006), perfrmed accrding t the mst stringent prtcls recgnized by the Eurpean Unin, shw that sn after chrystile fibres are inhaled, they are quickly cleared frm the lungs in a matter f abut 10 days. The amphible fibres remain in the lung fr perids up t a year r mre; These differences are fundamental in assessing health risk fr chrystile. Talking abut the health effect f asbests makes n mre sense than asking if metals present health risks. At lw level f expsure, sme d, thers dn t. It is the same with asbests fibres : recent updates f epidemilgical studies (fr chrystile) are cnsistent with a practical threshld level f expsure belw which n adverse effects have been detected; The fibres usually used t replace chrystile, such as cellulse, aramid fibres and ceramic fibre, are generally mre persistent in lung tissue and therefre ptentially mre hazardus t health; The U.S. Curt fund a ban f asbests-cntaining prducts unwarranted. Page 11 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS
12 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS Page 12 Chrystile and Amphibles in Tday s Wrld Current asbests prducts and uses are as different frm the ld nes as night and day. Tday, the main type f asbests extracted, exprted and used is chrystile. The amphible mines, lcated mainly in Suth Africa and Australia, were clsed in the late 20th century. In additin, the industry nw nly markets dense and nn-friable materials in which the chrystile fibre is encapsulated in a matrix f either cement r resin. These prducts include chrystile-cement building materials, frictin prducts, gaskets and certain plastics. The ld prducts, principally lw-density insulatin materials, were very dusty and crumbled under hand pressure. Uncntrlled wrk cnditins, wrk with friable insulatin materials and the extensive use f amphible asbests fibres in the past, have resulted in asbests-related diseases. Unlike tday s prducts, ld prducts ften cntained amphible fibres (crcidlite and amsite) r a man-made mix f chrystile and amphibles. These prducts are still present in the Western wrld, and precautinary measures must be implemented t prtect everyne against expsure t excessive airbrne asbests dust. Page 13 Times have changed: the type f fibres and prducts marketed are different, and dust cntrl technlgy has evlved. The use f lw-density friable insulatin materials has been ablished, and expsure limits fr chrystile are hundreds f times lwer than wrkers levels f expsures f the past.
13 What d we knw tday abut chrystile and all the asbests fibres? In fact, we knw many things, frm their chemical cmpsitin, their prperties and their ptential health effects n humans. Because all asbests fibres have been accused - wrngfully r with reasn f being respnsible fr the death f many wrkers. Many scientists frm all ver the wrld have brught t light many nuances. Cnsequently, the understanding f the mechanism and cnditins that prvke respiratry diseases after the inhalatin f natural r synthetic fibres are well-knwn and dcumented. There is verwhelming published data shwing that the mrtality rate experience f wrkers handling amphibles is much higher than that f wrkers expsed t chrystile fibres nly. Page 13 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS
14 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS Page 14 The Dse Makes the Pisn In principle, a substance can prduce the harmful effect assciated with its txic prperties nly if it reaches a susceptible bilgical system within the human bdy in a sufficient cncentratin (a high enugh dse). The txic effect f a substance increases as the expsure (r dse) t the susceptible bilgical system increases. Fr all chemicals there is a dse respnse curve, r a range f dses that result in a graded effect between the extremes f n effect and 100% respnse. All chemical substances will exhibit a txic effect given a large enugh dse. If the dse is lw enugh, even a highly txic substance will nrmally cease t cause a harmful effect. The txic ptency f a chemical is thus ultimately defined by the dse the amunt f the chemical that will prduce a specific respnse in a specific bilgical system. All substances are pisns; there is nne which is nt a pisn. The right dse differentiates a pisn - Paracelsus ( )
15 That is t say, substances ften cnsidered txic can be benign r even beneficial in small dses, and cnversely an rdinarily benign substance, like water, can be deadly if ver-cnsumed. Like all minerals and agents that can cause cancer the Internatinal Agency fr Research n Cancer has identified 417 agents, mixtures and expsures that are certainly, prbably r pssibly carcingenic t humans the risk is prprtinal t the expsure level. Gd cmmn sense will tell yu that many f these substances have a risk f causing diseases nly if the expsure is abundant r fr a lng perid f time. It is the case fr numerus prducts we encunter in ur everyday ccupatinal r envirnmental life. Fr example, let s mentin: alchlic beverages, manufacture f glass cntainers, cffee, diesel and gasline engine exhaust, indr emissins frm husehld cmbustin f wd and cal, ccupatinal expsure as hairdresser r barber, nickel cmpunds, mst insecticides, ccupatinal expsure as a painter, certain kinds f salted fish, slar radiatin, tbacc smking and tbacc smke, wd dust and x-rays, etc. As we can see, facts are irrefutable: asbests use withut distinguishing the fibre types (chrystile and amphibles) which increased in the middle f the 20th century, created the prblem. During this era, prtectin measures and apprpriate wrk practices fr emplyees, ensuring them a healthy wrking envirnment, were neglected and, t ften, practically nnexistent. Page 15 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS
16 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS Page 16 The wrkers extracting and transfrming the fibre, installing and maintaining prducts cntaining asbests were then expsed, fr many years, t high dust cncentratins and this, withut apprpriate respiratry prtective devices. Inhaled in large quantities ver lng perids f time, asbests fibres cumulate in the lungs and exceed the capacity f the bdy t naturally eliminate them. This is fllwed by a gradual diminutin f the crrective actin f the lungs. This phenmenn is called asbestsis. It might eventually prvke lung cancer r mesthelima anther kind f cancer generally assciated with asbests. Hwever, this bilgical prcess extends ver a perid f years (smetimes up t 40 years): this is called the latency perid f the disease.
17 Latency It is, because f this latency perid that it is still pssible tday t diagnse new cases f respiratry diseases, and this, in spite f all the imprvements cncerning the expsure f wrkers t fibres in the wrkplace. Alarming reprts f the rise f diseases linked t asbests (at large) have triggered intense cntrversy in Eurpe, especially in nrthern cuntries which, befre the 1980 s, were big users f friable asbests insulatin and, t ften, f amphible fibres. In a nutshell, here is the genesis f the plemic cncerning the use f all kinds f asbests fibres, including chrystile, the ne that presents n real significant health risk when used in a respnsible way. Page THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS
18 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS As far as Health Risk is Cncerned, why is Chrystile s Different frm Amphibles? There is grwing scientific evidence demnstrating that asbests inducedlung cancer, such as asbestsis, is a threshld phenmenn. Lw expsures t chrystile d nt present a detectable risk t health. Since ttal dse ver time determines the likelihd f the ccurrence and prgressin f disease, studies suggest that the risk f an adverse utcme may be lw, even if high expsures are experienced fr a shrt duratin. When any natural r man-made fibrus respirable substances are inhaled, mst fibres are expelled, but sme can becme ldged in the lungs and remain there thrughut life. Fibres can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammatin. Severe scarring and inflammatin can affect breathing and increase the risk f lung cancer. Fast remval f a fibre frm lungs decreases the risk f fibre-induced health effects. The ability f a substance t persist in the lung, in spite f the lung s physilgical clearance mechanisms and envirnmental cnditins, is knwn as bipersistence. It is generally agreed that the durability f a respirable fibre is a majr factr fr the characterizatin f ptential adverse health effects. Fr example, the Eurpean Unin specifies in Directive 97/69/EC n the Classificatin, Packaging and Labelling f Dangerus Substances, that a bipersistence test must be undertaken t evaluate a fibre classificatin as a carcingen. Chrystile is cleared rapidly frm the lung. Recent animal experimentatins (2003 t 2006, in Brazil, Canada and the USA), perfrmed accrding t the mst stringent prtcls recgnized by the Eurpean Unin, shw that sn after chrystile fibres are inhaled, they are quickly cleared frm the lungs in a matter f abut 10 days. Hwever, amphibles, which resist the acidic envirnment f the lungs, are nt cleared as rapidly. The amphible fibres may remain in the lungs fr perids up t a year r mre. Page 18
19 T that effect, the animal experimentatins thus bring rbust supprt t many epidemilgical bservatins published in the past. They als supprt the mre recent benchmark publicatin by Hdgsn and Darntn (2000), shwing that amphibles are 100 times mre ptent than chrystile. In fact, chrystile has a much lwer bipersistency than mst f the ther industrial fibres (sme cellulses, ceramic fibres, aramid, rck wl and glass wl). Evidence frm mrbidity, mrtality and lung burden studies supprts the cncept f a much lwer pathgenic ptential fr chrystile cmpared t amphibles. There are n less than 25 reprts, frm human studies, published in the last 25 years, pinting t the definite differences in bilgical effects and ptencies f chrystile and amphible asbests varieties. One f the mst imprtant studies in terms f chrt dimensins was dne by Liddell, McDnald & McDnald in The results have shwn n evidence f increased cancer risk frm chrystile expsure at presently regulated ccupatinal expsure levels (~1 f/ ml, 8-hur time-weighted average), as recmmended by the Grup f Experts cnvened by the WHO in Oxfrd (1989). Page 19 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS
20 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS Page 20 Is Chrystile Really a Threat t Health? These differences are fundamental in assessing the health risk f chrystile. Talking abut the health effects f asbests makes n mre sense than asking if metals present health risks. At lw levels f expsure, sme d, thers dn t. It is the same fr asbests fibres. Regarding chrystile, little excess lung cancer is expected frm lw expsure level (WHO, 2004). Whereas amphible fibres present a serius health risk because f its high bipersistence. Recent updates f epidemilgical studies are cnsistent and cncur t a practical threshld level f expsure belw which n adverse effects are detectable. The majr difference between chrystile and amphibles is related t its chemical cmpsitin, its acid-resistant prperties and its effects n health. In cntrast with amphibles, chrystile des nt persist in the lungs after inhalatin; it is quickly eliminated by the metablism. A prlnged expsure t high cncentratins f chrystile fibres, namely 20 years and mre, is required fr a clinical manifestatin f pulmnary damage t appear. In the past, such high expsures were frequent; it is n lnger the case tday. On the ther hand, because f their txicity and their high bipersistency, amphibles are mainly respnsible fr pulmnary diseases caused even after a shrt r a mderate expsure. Tday, chrystile is the nly asbests fibre cmmercialized under an efficient respnsible-use prgram.
21 The adverse health effects due t high expsures f undifferentiated asbests fibres shuld be attributed t the past, mainly because f very high expsures f amphible fibres. In Eurpe and Nrth America, many traditinal applicatins, such as insulatin, called fr a mix f chrystile and amphibles. Buildings and ships insulatin were installed by means f pulverizatin f a mixture f chrystile and amsite; and pipe lagging and large diameter asbests-cement pipes required the use f crcidlite. This is frtunately n lnger the case tday. The health risks assciated with chrystile expsure cncern principally the wrkplace. Hwever, the risks fr the general ppulatin, if there are any, are generally belw detectin limits. With the implementatin f a respnsible-use prgram, maintenance and necessary precautins taken, fibre emissins frm mdern, highdensity chrystile prducts, such as frictin and chrystile cement materials, are minimal and d nt cnstitute a measurable risk t the general ppulatin, t the wrkers nr t the envirnment. Regarding asbests-related diseases, the fllwing infrmatin is prvided, based n the much larger number f diseases bserved amng wrkers with ther fibres. First, peple wh were diagnsed with asbests-related diseases were expsed t the mre bipersistent amphible types r a mixture f chrystile and amphibles. Secnd, chrystile has been used cmmercially fr ver a century, ften at high expsure levels befre the 1960 s, while alternative fibres are f recent use. Third, with tday s wrking cnditins using exclusively chrystile fibres in highdensity materials, wet prcess system and mdern technlgy, pulmnary diseases linked t fibre expsure shuld be eliminated. Careful cnsideratin f all the facts yields ne and nly ne cnclusin: cntrlled-use is the regulatry plicy f chice rather than a cmprehensive prduct ban, nt nly fr chrystile, but als fr mst ther natural and man-made fibres. Page 21 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS
22 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS Page 22 Chrystile-Free, But Nt Risk-Free The alarmist psitins taken by certain Eurpean gvernment authrities regarding chrystile encuraged many cmpanies t transfer t substitute prducts. This substitutin, hwever, was made mre in rder t give an impressin f safety and cncern fr wrkers health. Mrever, that thse same industries and gvernments avided using chrystile in many prducts in favur f untested substitute fibres shuld be wrrying. In 1993, a grup f experts, cnvened by the Wrld Health Organizatin (WHO), issued Envirnmental Health Criteria 151, which states that all respirable and bipersistent fibres must be tested t check their txicity and carcingenicity. In fact, recent studies have shwn that many fibres used t replace chrystile in numerus prducts may be as hazardus as r even mre hazardus than the latter: this is ntably the case fr sme cellulses, fibreglass, rck wls, refractry ceramic fibres and aramid fibres. Again, in 1993, the Internatinal Prgram n Chemical Safety (IPCS) explicitly recmmended that expsure t any respirable and durable fibre shuld be cntrlled t the same extent as chrystile. This has still nt happened. In additin t the health prblems linked t their handling, many chrystile-free frictin materials may have inferir physical and technical characteristics. Despite higher manufacturing csts than chrystile-cntaining prducts and, despite years f technlgical adjustments and develpment, substitute fibre-based frictin materials still pse perfrmance prblems fr certain types f mtr vehicles; their technlgy is nt always up t date, resulting t ften, in additinal risk fr wrkers.
23 In several cuntries like Chile, England, Italy and France, chrystile free prducts have been sld using smear campaigns against chrystile, resulting in its prhibitin; thereby pening up the market t new lcally made prducts and substances fr which many technical prblems are surfacing as their use becmes mre widespread. The replacement fibres usually, such as sme cellulses, aramid and ceramic fibres, are generally mre persistent in lung tissue and therefre ptentially mre hazardus t health than chrystile. Nw, these same cuntries that have pted fr the replacement market, are pressing ther natins t fllw in their same path. By prhibiting the use f chrystile under the pretext f prtecting wrkers, there is a real pssibility f creating the reverse effect by prmting the industrial develpment f sme unregulated fibres that are ptentially mre hazardus t the health f wrkers. Shuld ther cuntries blindly fllw this rute? We dn t think s. Page 23 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS
24 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS Substituting Chrystile In the United States, explding brake drums n heavy trucks have caused numerus highway fatalities. Diagnses f truck brake drums in the past few years shw that the rupture is ften linked t a defective brake she. In additin, a study by the EPA and the American Sciety fr Mechanical Engineers shws that it is dangerus t install nn-asbests brake linings n cars initially designed with linings cntaining asbests. Thrugh the years, chrystile-cntaining brake shes and linings, have prven their technical efficiency. Page 24 It takes up t 50 different substances t replace the varius grades f chrystile fibre used in the gasket industry. Develpment f these substances and their industrial applicatins invlves very cstly research fr the industry, and hence, increased csts t cnsumers. Such a cmpsitin may result in sudden rupture and shattering f the gasket, particularly in high temperature, high pressure applicatins. In additin, it requires mre frequent inspectins than thse usually freseen fr chrystile-based gaskets which were much mre resistant. Substituting chrystile by ther industrial fibres is technically nt impssible. Since several Eurpean cuntries have demanded imprts f prducts that are free f chrystile, manufacturers have develped prductin prcesses that use ne r mre alternative prducts. First f all, finished prducts manufactured withut chrystile are a lt mre expensive and ften f lwer quality than thse cntaining chrystile. Many f them have nt been scientifically recgnized as less hazardus t health. If the Eurpean and ther cuntries markets can allw themself the luxury f using mre expensive, less durable and ften unregulated prducts, it is their business, but this fact shuld be a matter f cncern t all and certainly nt an example t fllw.
25 Change in Regulatins: A Mre Ratinal Apprach Reacting in panic and succumbing t the pressures f the lbbies, sme gvernments hastily adpted laws prhibiting the use, withut distinctin, f all asbests fibres. It is particularly the case fr the Eurpean Unin states, but this als happened sme time befre in the United States. This cuntry (USA) t date remains the mst elquent case f excessive and inapprpriate prpsed ban which was reversed by a Circuit Curt, faced with an absence f justificatin f the regulatin. In the mid-1980 s, public panic ver asbests in buildings - which was later discvered t have been unwarranted but which prmpted the U.S. Envirnmental Prtectin Agency (EPA) t prpse a ban n mst asbests-cntaining prducts. EPA s prpsal resulted in a massive cmpilatin f data n the benefits f asbests in many prducts, as well as the ptential risk fr human expsure. Based n this cmprehensive recrd, the U.S. Curt f Appeals fund such a ban unwarranted because: N significant human expsures t asbests fibres wuld ccur if the prducts were prduced and used under cntrlled cnditins; Substitutes fr asbests-cntaining prducts themselves psed ptential human health risks that culd be mre significant than any ptential risks frm asbests; Asbests-cntaining prducts ffered significant benefits nt ffered by substitute prducts. The U.S. Curt f Appeals underlined that ver the next 13 years after its decisin, the ppulatin culd expect mre than a dzen deaths frm ingested tthpicks, this is mre than twice as many deaths as the EPA was hping t prevent with its US$ 500 millin ban n asbests (all fibre types) pipes, shingles and rf catings. In fact, with tday s measures implemented in the wrkplace and the lw risk f chrystile fibres, prhibiting the use f chrystile fibres wuld prbably save n human life. 24 Page 25 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS
26 THIS BROCHURE IS ABOUT FACTS Mre recently, in the United Kingdm, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recmmended a revisin t the regulatins relating t chrystile-cntaining textured decrative catings cmmnly referred t under their cmmercial name, Artex. This prduct, similar t chrystile-cement, is very ppular in the U.K. and due t a strict regulatin f the Eurpean Unin, was cnsidered as a dangerus prduct. Health and Safety Labratry (HSL) carried ut extensive tests n Artex shwing that it pses n measureable risk t health. Page 26
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