Global Asbestos Congress 2000

Asbestos In India

According to the manager of an asbestos factory in Ahmedabad, Gujarat: "Our factory is so safe that our workers do not need to wear masks." The factory proudly displays their ISO 9002 rating they received from a British company. Less than 200 metres away from the factory the 'safety' standards at an asbestos distribution area are not that safe. Workers cut asbestos sheets with a handheld circular saw without wearing any protective masks. Although the saw is adapted to spray water on the blade to minimise dust, fine dust was still in the air. Children close by were looking on. White asbestos dust can be seen on the one workers hair.

Broken asbestos pieces are used to fill up areas as driveways where vehicles enter the distribution area.

Children play on the premises from where asbestos sheets are distributed.

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Broken asbestos sheets and roofs…a common sight in India. People live, work and play around asbestos without knowing about the dangers of being exposed to asbestos fibres.

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At a safety product manufacturer in Vadodara, Gujarat the working conditions for the workers are not safe. The company manufactures asbestos gloves that are used for protecting workers against heat, but the workers themselves are not protected from inhaling asbestos fibres.

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Pooja, 8 years old, New Delhi. Pooja's father is the foreman of an asbestos distribution point in Delhi. They live on the premises about 20 metres from where asbestos sheets are cut with a circular saw. None of the workers or family members wear any protective clothing. Pooja and her younger brother play between the asbestos sheets without knowing that their playground will one day cause their death.

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