International Keynote: "The Importance of Building and Sustaining Strategic Global and Domestic Partnerships” at the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Conference in
Melbourne, Australia on November 17, 2014
90% of the world production of chrysotile is used in the manufacture of chrysotile-cement, in the form of pipes, sheets and shingles.
“According to a group of experts convened by the World Health Organization (WHO - Oxford, 1989), chrysotile-cement products do not present risks of any significance to public health or the environment. Moreover, workers in this industry, whether employed in the manufacture, installation or removal of materials, are not exposed to any detectable risk when effective prevention and control measures are applied.”
Professor David Bernstein, a Swiss consultant on toxicology, said here last week that it was a common misconception that asbestos was generally dangerous and should be banned.
"We can use chrysotile safely if it is cleverly used," he said.
Bernstein, who is also a member of expert panels for the US Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organisation, said chrysotile was less dangerous than blue or brown asbestos due to its greater fragility and solubility.
Srichant Uthayopas, director of the Industrial Works Department's Hazardous Substance Control Bureau, said Thailand imported about 200,000 tonnes of asbestos a year, mostly for various kinds of cement products used in construction.
Some is used for auto parts like brakes and clutches, as well as insulators and textiles.
Asbestos made of crocidolite and amosite minerals has been outlawed here since July 2003, but chrysotile is still allowed into the country on prior approval.
"We now import only chrysotile, because our industry needs it for its strength and flexibility, which are required for construction projects," she said.
"A substitute for chrysotile would be costly, and I see no reason to pay more for one. Safety and environmental protection are important, but economics is more so," Srichant said, adding that Malaysia, the Philippines and China also still used chrysotile.
Reinstein: "The Importance of Building and Sustaining Strategic Global and Domestic Partnerships”
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)
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"The Importance of Building and Sustaining Strategic Global and
Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Conference
“Working Towards an Asbestos Free Australia”
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