News Item Archive

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Displaying first 25 items in reverse date order (default)
 

Medical Training on Asbestos

Oct 16, 2018

On Saturday, October 13, 2018, an asbestos medical seminar entitled Update Diagnosis of Asbestos Related Disease was held at Binawan University in Jakarta by the Indonesia Ban Asbestos Network (INA-BAN), the Local Initiative for OSH Network Indonesia (LION) and partnering organizations. During her presentation, Professor Jeung Sook Kim, from Korea, highlighted the importance of cooperation between NGOs and scientists in the ban asbestos movement. See: Picture of Session on October 13, 2018 at Binawan University.
 

Demo: Asbestos in Schools

Oct 16, 2018

On October 12, 2018, 1,000 people from all over France gathered together to march through the streets of Paris demanding that action be taken on the asbestos hazard in French schools. This was the 14th annual protest organized by the National Association for the Defense of Asbestos Victims (Andeva) to highlight the national asbestos epidemic which continues to kill thousands of citizens every year. See: Amiante dans les écoles: “protégez nos enfants” demandent des manifestants [Asbestos in schools: “protect our children” demand protesters].
 

Legal Victory

Oct 16, 2018

The Supreme Court of Catalonia has overturned a 2014 High Court decision to issue a landmark ruling allowing the heirs of a deceased widow to obtain damages from the Uralita company not claimed by her husband who died of mesothelioma in 1974 as a result of occupational asbestos exposures. Legal experts believe this judgment could open the way for many more claims. See: El Suprem admet que els hereus d’una vídua d’un afectat per l’amiant puguin percebre els danys i perjudicis que el finat no va reclamar [Supreme Court allows heirs of an asbestos widow to receive damages not claimed by the deceased’s husband].
 

Asbestos Removal Training

Oct 16, 2018

Under a program to produce more asbestos removal operatives in Turkey, 474 successful trainees have received certification as specialists in this field of work. Upon completion of the latest course, organized by the General Directorate of Occupational Health and Safety of the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services, Dr. Orhan Koç – General Director of Occupational Health and Safety Operations – highlighted the need for the safe removal of asbestos before buildings are demolished. Asbestos removal training will continue in 2019. See: Asbest Söküm Uzmanlığı Eğitimi Yeni Mezunlarını Verdi [Asbestos Removal Expertise Training Provides New Graduates].
 

Asbestos Industry Offensive

Oct 15, 2018

A Moscow online portal has uploaded news of a meeting that took place last month in Kazakhstan entitled: International Trade Union Conference on Chrysotile Asbestos and Safety. Representatives of the chrysotile industry from Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, and other stakeholder countries were regaled with industry propaganda and “commissioned science” about the “safe use” of asbestos, despite advice from international agencies that the only “safe use” of asbestos is no use at all. See: Kazakhstan Hosted International Trade Union Conference on Chrysotile Asbestos.
 

The Asbestos Hazard

Oct 15, 2018

An asbestos awareness training session in Nepal was held on October 6, 2018 by the Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED). The fact that the meeting took place in Janakpur was significant as this area is one where asbestos use is very high. More than 60 participants were addressed by Deputy Mayor Mrs. Rita Kumari Mishra, Chief Custom Officer Mr. Hem Chandra Sharma, Janakpurdham SMC Senior Official Mr. Pradeep Sah, DYN Dhanusha President Mr. Dhiraj Sah, and Mr. Ram Charitra Sah, Executive Director of CEPHED. An asbestos factsheet, posters and booklets on asbestos were distributed to participants. See: Photo of Mr. Ram Charitra Sah, Executive Director of CEPHED addressing October 6 meeting.
 

Ban Asbestos Bill

Oct 15, 2018

On October 10, 2018, 20 environmental campaigners displayed a banner in central Bogota saying “Congressmen: we all pay for your cowardice,” to draw attention to the Senate’s continued failure to debate ban asbestos legislation which has been pending since October 2017. Congressman Nadia Blel has said the delay was “unacceptable,” asserting that the draft law “aims to save lives.” She has called on the Senate President to make consideration of this bill a priority. See: A paso lento camina en el Congreso la prohibición del asbesto en Colombia [At a slow pace the Colombian asbestos ban moves in Congress].
 

Nonoccupational Exposure

Oct 15, 2018

On October 11, 2018, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued a 4:3 ruling in the case of Quisenberry v. Huntington Ingalls which confirmed the responsibility of an employer for asbestos injuries sustained by an employee’s family member, declaring that the company also had a duty of care to nonemployees. The case was referred to the Court by U.S. District Judge Arenda Allen of the Eastern District of Virginia who asked for clarification regarding the employers’ liability for asbestos exposure to the nonemployee. The case has now been referred back to Judge Allen. See: Split Virginia Supreme Court Finds Duty of Care for Asbestos Exposure to Nonemployees.
 

Asbestos Victim’s Victory!

Oct 12, 2018

A Court of Appeal decision handed down in Sydney, Australia on October 10, 2018 is being heralded as a victory for asbestos victims. The case was brought by Marion Talifero, the widow of John Talifero, a painter and decorator who died from mesothelioma having been occupationally exposed to James Hardie (JH) asbestos. JH argued that as British-born Mr Talifero had also been exposed to asbestos when he had served as a stoker in the Royal Navy, JH should only pay 52% of the compensation awarded. While the Supreme Court had agreed with them the Court of Appeal did not and ruled that JH pay 100% of the compensation awarded. See: Widow's court win halts company bid to slash asbestos payouts.
 

Asbestos Lobby: Update

Oct 12, 2018

The Canadian domiciled International Chrysotile Association (ICA), formerly known as the Asbestos International Association, has led global marketing efforts to promote sales of chrysotile asbestos for decades. In 2013, the ICA had 23 directors from 16 asbestos stakeholding countries; now it has just six directors, having recently lost Brazilian director Rubens Rela Filho, who had represented the Cana Brava mine. (The Brazilian Supreme Court in November 2017 ruled that the use and sale of asbestos was unconstitutional.) Concerns about the validity of the ICA’s status as a Canadian non-profit organization are discussed in the article: International asbestos lobby loses another member.
 

Raising Asbestos Awareness

Oct 12, 2018

Organizers of an asbestos educational event entitled: Strengthening knowledge and skills to diagnose asbestos-related diseases which is being held in Jakarta, Indonesia on October 13, 2018 have confirmed that all the seats to the event at Binawan University have now been booked. Delegates will hear presentations by leading asbestos medical specialists including: Dr. Anna Suraya (Germany), Professor Jeung Sook Kim (Korea), and Dr. Aziz Ghani Ikhsan and Dr. Agus Dwi Susanto from Indonesia. Attending the sessions will be a range of medical and health practitioners. See: Asbestos Seminar: Update.
 

Ban Asbestos Mobilization

Oct 11, 2018

The Indonesian Ban Asbestos Network (INA-BAN) and The Local Initiative OSH Network (LION), in collaboration with Australia’s Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA), organized a two-day asbestos awareness workshop and strategy meeting in Jakarta this week. Representatives of three trade union confederations, eleven federations and non-governmental organizations learned about conflicting legislation in Indonesia regarding the use of asbestos products, the hazards posed to workers and members of the public by asbestos exposures and the ban asbestos policies of international organizations. See: Photo.
 

Asbestos at School

Oct 11, 2018

As the new school year began in Belgium, municipal authorities have refused to publish asbestos audits showing contamination of schools, citing their belief that parents will react unreasonably to the presence of asbestos at their children’s schools. So far, only two of Brussels’s 19 communes have published asbestos inventories of their schools online. Emir Kir, Mayor of Saint-Josse commune, has refused to upload this information saying: “There is a legal obligation to have asbestos inventories, but we do have them, but I want to be very cautious with the communication of this information, which can create unnecessary fear within the population.” See: L’amiante, encore un sujet tabou à Bruxelles [Asbestos, another taboo subject in Brussels].
 

Scrapping of Toxic Trains

Oct 11, 2018

It was announced on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 that Argentinian trains purchased in 2011 for €4 million by the former mayor of Buenos Aires from the Spanish company Metro de Madrid will be scrapped because of asbestos contamination. After news was released about asbestos in the Spanish trains, an investigation was carried out in Argentina which confirmed the presence of asbestos on trains (model CAF500) on Line B of the Buenos Aires Metro. See: Argentina hará chatarra los trenes que le vendió Metro en 2011 al hallar Amianto [Argentina will scrap the trains that Metro sold in 2011 when it found asbestos].
 

Asbestos at Grenfell Tower

Oct 10, 2018

NHS England announced this week that it would provide £50 million over the next five years to fund a new health screening programme for survivors of, and first responders to, the Grenfell Tower fire – which took place on June 14, 2017 – to monitor their physical and psychological health. Asbestos-containing products were used in the construction of the North Kensington, London high rise which was built in 1974. As the latency period of asbestos-related diseases can be from 10 to 50 years, the short-term nature of this initiative will be of limited value. See: Grenfell Tower fire: NHS announces £50m health-screening programme in wake of asbestos fears.
 

Asbestos Protest!

Oct 10, 2018

On October 6, 2018, a demonstration took place involving asbestos victims’ groups from Spain, the UK, France, Belgium and Italy at the Plaça de Sant Jaume in Barcelona to make manifest the demands for recognition and support by those whose lives had been damaged by state-sanctioned exposures to asbestos during the 20th century. The protest was organized by the Associació de Víctimes Affectades per l'Amiant de Catalunya (AVAAC) and the Ronda Collective and took place after an asbestos conference and other asbestos activities on October 4 & 5, 2018. See: Las víctimas del amianto reclaman justicia en Barcelona [Asbestos victims claim justice in Barcelona].
 

More Toxic Imports from China

Oct 10, 2018

It has been announced that the Australian company – Fortescue Metals Group, a Perth-based mining giant – which imported 3,5000 asbestos-contaminated rail carriages from China will not be prosecuted for infringing the country’s strict prohibitions on asbestos. The toxic carriages were imported between 2007 and 2014; when the contamination was discovered in 2017, the company notified the authorities at Worksafe and took action to prevent further exposures to asbestos contained in the wheel chassis of ore cars. Licensed removal operatives are replacing the asbestos components. See: Asbestos found in 3,500 Chinese-made imported rail carriages.
 

Asbestos Alert by MoD

Oct 10, 2018

Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials are trying to trace former employees, including civilian technical staff, who worked on Sea King helicopters since they entered service in the late 1960s, after asbestos contamination, was found. Commenting on the current situation a MoD spokesperson confirmed that an asbestos removal program was being implemented and that the MoD “are contacting those who may have been exposed in the past, detailing the actions they should take.” See: Asbestos fears over Sea King helicopter ground crews.
 

Madrid’s Asbestos Metro

Oct 10, 2018

Yet more asbestos has been found on Madrid Metro trains with the company recently announcing that insulating paint for “insulation and interior coating of the cabin and enclosure panels, as well as metal plates under the frame” on thirteen trains (model 2000A) on line 1 were found to contain asbestos. The company reassured train personnel and passengers that the contaminated paint did not pose “any risk.” See: Metro de Madrid detecta también amianto en pintura aislante en trenes de la línea 1 [Madrid Metro also detects asbestos in insulating paint on trains on line 1].
 

Please Buy Our Asbestos!

Oct 1, 2018

Despite the Vietnam Government’s declaration that it plans to ban asbestos use in construction materials, Russian asbestos producers continue efforts to sell asbestos to Vietnam via various channels including diplomatic meetings such as one which took place in September 2018 between Evgeny Kuyvashev, the governor of the Sverdlovsk region – the source of Russian asbestos – and Ngo Phuong Ngi, the consul general of Vietnam. During the meeting Kuyvashev reminded Ngo Phuong Ngi that Vietnam “is a traditional consumer of the Urals chrysotile-asbestos.” See: Губернатор встретился с генконсулом республики [Kuyvashev offered Vietnam asbestos and participation in the construction of the Metro.]
 

Solidarity in Ban Asbestos Campaign

Oct 1, 2018

In recent days, Australian trade unionists – working with organizers from Australia’s Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA) – have been meeting with leading campaigners in Indonesia’s ban asbestos movement to see first-hand grassroots initiatives being rolled out to raise public awareness of the asbestos hazard – including a visit to the city of Bandung to observe ban asbestos activities of the Local Initiative for OHS Network (LION) on Bandung Car Free Day and meeting members of the Serbuk Union and the Center for Indonesia Medical Students to learn about their asbestos outreach activities. See: APHEDA (Facebook) Photo.
 

Asbestos Hazard at Port

Oct 1, 2018

On September 26, 2018, a court in Cádiz, Spain awarded compensation to the family of a deceased stevedore who died of mesothelioma, having been exposed to asbestos brought into the port as cargo. The defendants – the Port Authority of the Bay of Cádiz and State Warehouse and Unloading Company of the Port of the Bay of Cádiz – were ordered to pay compensation of €150,000 to the family of the deceased. Large amounts of asbestos were shipped through the Cádiz port until the 1980s; this is the second such asbestos verdict issued by a Cádiz court. See: La APBC deberá indemnizar a los herederos de un estibador [The APBC must compensate the heirs of a stevedore].
 

Asbestos Industry Offensive

Oct 1, 2018

In response to growing ban asbestos mobilization in Sri Lanka (see: South Asia Asbestos Strategy Meeting), an industry lobbyist from the Fibre Cement Products Manufacturer’s Association wrote a letter to Sri Lanka’s Daily News which reiterated discredited asbestos industry propaganda alleging that: the use of white (chrysotile) asbestos is safe under modern, controlled conditions; once asbestos fibers are enclosed within a cement matrix fibers cannot be liberated; people living or working in premises with asbestos roofing were safe from toxic airborne exposures. See: ‘Chrysotile Conundrum’ Clarified.
 

Quebec’s Asbestos Refusniks

Oct 1, 2018

According to an article uploaded by Canadian health and safety activist Kathleen Ruff, leaders of the Quebec Liberal Party, the Quebec Party, and the Coalition avenir Québec – three out of 4 of Quebec’s top political leaders – “reject the scientific community’s recommendations regarding the dangers of asbestos…[and] continue in 2018 to collaborate with the position of the asbestos industry, which allows Quebec workers to be exposed to ten times higher amounts of asbestos fibres than is permitted in the rest of Canada, the United States, Europe or the Western world.” See: Three of Quebec’s four political leaders do not support the scientific evidence on asbestos.
 

Post-Fire Asbestos Hazard

Oct 1, 2018

Media reports and warnings on facebook were published last Thursday documenting a public safety alert issued to people in the small New Zealand town of Waipu, in the Northland Region, after a major fire in the town’s center had created an asbestos hazard. Advice from the authorities was for people to remain indoors until remediation work had been undertaken to clear up toxic debris created by the blaze which began at 1:20 a.m. on September 30 at the Waipu Cafe and Deli on Cove Rd. Ten fire crews were called to the site. See: Waipu residents warned to stay indoors after major fire brings asbestos risk.