Asbestos still used in developing world, despite major health risks

08/12/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

India – Although more than 50 nations, and entities like the World Health Organization have recommended banning the mineral due to health risks, asbestos continues to be pushed as a product for use to the poor in developing countries. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), executives at a recent conference in the Indian capital purported that the toxic mineral helps save lives, and provides structural components for housing many in developing nations who are poor.

Abhaya Shankar, a director of India’s Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers Association, is quoted by the AP as stating at the asbestos conference, which was held in a New Delhi luxury hotel, “We’re here not only to run our businesses, but to also serve the nation.”

As noted in the report, India is the largest importer of asbestos in the world, where it is stated to be a $2 billion industry and provides tens of thousands of jobs.

Executives at the conference suggested that the reported health risks are overblown; however, medical researchers have found that fibers from the mineral become inhaled and trapped in the lungs leading to disease. The International Labor Organization has estimated that workplace asbestos exposure alone leads to 100,000 deaths each year.

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – World Legal News

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