Killing The Future: Asbestos Use In Asia


Appendix A

Countries Showing Increases in Asbestos Consumption 2000-2004 (tonnes)

Country 2000 2004 % increase Global ranking
Azerbaijan 7,150 10,600 48% 11
China 383,000 537,000 40% 1
India 145,000 190,000 31% 3
Indonesia 42,900 51,000 20% 8
Iran 40,700 64,300 58% 6
Kazakhstan 7,700 260,000 275% 2
Kyrgyzstan 16,500 26,500 61% 9
Pakistan 1,590 9,170 477% 12
Romania 10,700 13,000 21% 10
Thailand 110,000 166,000 51% 4
Ukraine 80,900 122,000 51% 5
Vietnam 44,200 58,300 32% 7

According to figures provided in February 2007 by the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.), in the period 2000-2004 the largest percent increases in national asbestos consumption occurred in: Pakistan (+477%), Kazakhstan (+275%), Kyrgyzstan (+61%), Thailand (+51%) and Ukraine (+51%). From a tonnage standpoint, the largest increases were recorded by Kazakhstan (197,300 tonnes/t), China (154,000t), Thailand (56,000t), India (45,000t), Ukraine (41,000t).100

Appendix B

Exposure to asbestos has been linked predominantly to three deadly diseases, characterized by extended latency periods:

Appendix C

Asbestos Imports into Thailand (1997-2004)

Year Quantity(kg) Value(US$)
1997 177,123,729 56,879,810
1998 60,092,992 27,020,559
1999 100,423,242 38,466,601
2000 120,563,168 44,614,534
2001 126,515,184 45,758,518
2002 181,348,064 55,004,723
2003 166,483,431 49,362,921
2004(Jan-July) 106,793,735 29,291,799

Data presented by Vichuda Lajananant & Churairat Srimanee at the Asian Asbestos Conference in Bangkok July 2006.

Appendix D

Asian Asbestos Congress 2006
Bangkok, Thailand

The Bangkok Declaration on elimination of asbestos and asbestos-related diseases.

The Asian Asbestos Conference 2006 was organized by the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand on 26-27 July, 2006, with Co-organization of the Ministry of Labour, Thailand and co-sponsored by the International Labor Office (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS) and the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH). The conference was attended by 300 participants from 26 Asian Pacific, African, European and North American Countries, including experts, administrators, representatives of Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) and industries.

The Conference,

1. Total Asbestos Ban
Asbestos mining, the use and recycling of asbestos and asbestos-containing products should be totally banned in all countries. The removal and disposal of existing asbestos must be conducted under stringent regulations and control by following the principle of highest level of protection.

2. Protection of Workers and the Public
In protection of health and safety of workers from asbestos hazards, primary prevention must be taken as an over-arching principle. Good practices guidelines by Inter-Governmental Organizations on prevention and elimination of asbestos hazards must be considered and implemented at national level.

Without prejudicing the primary responsibility of the Employers and Producers of asbestos and related products and the responsibility of national governments to safeguard the safety and health of workers and the general population, the programs and measures for asbestos risk management must be developed in collaboration and with the active participation of the at-risk groups.

3. Alternatives
Numerous safer alternatives are available and should be used in substitution for asbestos, international databank and guidance on the properties of substitutes, their availability and use should be organized.

4. Information Exchange
Up-to-date and accurate information on the health hazards related to the use of asbestos should be accumulated and disseminated through collaborative actions taken by Inter-Governmental Organizations, national governments, occupational health and safety experts, interest groups and other relevant organizations including Trade Unions and Employers' Organizations.

Awareness raising campaigns on asbestos hazards must be undertaken and monitored systematically.

5. Just Transition and the Prevention of Asbestos Dumping
Every effort should be made to secure effective transition towards non-asbestos technologies. Moves to transfer asbestos production and disposal to developing and newly industrializing countries should be prevented through Inter-Governmental and other International Organizations by using their instruments and through national legislation and other national actions, including National Action Programs on Asbestos.

6. Corporate Social Responsibility
Multinational Corporations with major production facilities in countries where asbestos is banned must adopt corporate global policies for avoiding the use of new asbestos products and carefully managing in-place asbestos products in existing infrastructure.

7. Surveillance, Fair Compensation and Treatment of Asbestos-related Diseases
Programs for the earliest possible detection and appropriate surveillance of asbestos-related diseases among exposed workers must be organized at national level. Asbestos patients and their families must be appropriately and without delay compensated. The asbestos-injured patient must have access to competant diagnostic and treatment services and necessary support services must be provided. Empowerment of patients and their families should be regarded as a high priority.

8. International Collaboration
International collaboration on asbestos elimination, management and control must be strengthened. Such collaboration must include the active participation of asbestos patients, workers, trade unions, politicians, employers and their organizations, academics and researchers, lawyers, grassroots organizations, other relevant agencies and interested groups in industrialized and in developing countries in both the Northern and Souther hemispheres. Successful strategies indentified through such collaboration should be exchanged through existing and new networks.

International Development Banks must adopt best practice policies to avoid the use of asbestos and asbestos products in new projects, carefully manage in-place asbestos products and support the development of safer alternatives in order to facilitate the effective implementation of national asbestos bans.

Human beings have the right to work and to live in a healthy environment. The tragic repercussions of the widespread epidemic of asbestos-related diseases must be prevented as a fundamental human right.

Bangkok 27 July 2006


100. According to Robert Virta of the U.S.G.S., because trade data used in the consumption calculation was not available for all countries for all years, some of these figures are estimates.

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