Carcinogenic White Asbestos Not Added to Toxic Export List

by VR Sreeraman on  November 4, 2008 at 3:21 PM Cancer News   - G J E 4
Parties to a treaty aimed at controlling trade in toxic products have failed to put white asbestos, a known carcinogen, on its watch list, the Rotterdam Convention's secretariat reported Monday.
 Carcinogenic White Asbestos Not Added to Toxic Export List
Carcinogenic White Asbestos Not Added to Toxic Export List

More than 120 representatives of states parties to the treaty were unable to reach consensus on the widely used building material also known as chrysotile asbestos, it said in a statement.

The convention's Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list currently includes 39 hazardous substances, including all other forms of asbestos.

Canadian member of parliament Pat Martin, who attended the treaty conference in Rome last week, said that Canada - a top exporter of white asbestos - had pressured major clients such as India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam to join opposition to the listing.

No substance can be added to the watch list without consensus agreement among the states parties.

"Canada should hang its head in shame," Martin, a former asbestos miner and a deputy in the House of Commons with the opposition socialist New Democratic Party, told the Canadian Press news agency.

Canadian health and safety regulations protect citizens against exposure to asbestos, "yet we dump 200,000 tonnes a year into Third World and developing countries and object to having warning labels put on it," Martin said.

Under the convention, exports of chemicals and pesticides on the watch list require the prior informed consent of the importing country.

Exporting countries are responsible for ensuring that no exports leave their territory when an importing country has made the decision not to accept the chemical or pesticide in question.

The pesticide tributyltin, a biocide used in marine paint that is toxic to fish and shellfish, was added to the watch list.

During the conference, "many governments expressed serious concern about the failure to list chrysotile asbestos," the statement said.

The UN World Health Organization reminded participants that chrysotile is a human carcinogen and that asbestos-related diseases claim at least 90,000 lives each year.

The Rotterdam Convention is jointly supported by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the UN Environment Programme.

Source: AFP

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions
yes, it is quite shameful for Canada and other countries to dump these known carcinogens on other countries.And it is downright criminal for countries like India to allow this to happen, allowing their people to be slaughtered slowly!
A.J.John Tuesday, November 4, 2008

You May Also Like

More News on: