- Diffuse pleural thickening
Regulation and government action
Worldwide, 60 countries (including those in the European Union) have banned the use of asbestos, in whole or in part.Some examples follow.
A nationwide ban on importing and using all forms of asbestos took effect on 31 December 2003. Reflecting the ban, the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) revised asbestos-related material to promote a consistent approach to controlling exposure to workplace asbestos and to introduce best-practice health and safety measures for asbestos management, control and removal. The ban does not cover asbestos materials or products already in use at the time the ban was implemented.
Although Australia has only a third of the UK’s population, its asbestos disease fatalities approximate Britain’s of more than 3,000 people per year.
The São Paulo State law 12.684/07 prohibits the use of any product which utilizes asbestos, this legislation having been formally upheld by the Brazilian Supremo Tribunal Federal.
The only asbestos mines still operating in Canada are in the Province of Quebec. They were owned by American and British Corporations until the Quebec government expropriated (for example) Asbestos Corporation Limited in 1981 from its American parent, General Dynamics. In the early 1990s all remaining mines and mills were sold by Quebec to the private sector . Quebec exports 95 percent of its chrysotile production, mostly to Asian and other poor countries.In 1999 the government of Canada went before the World Trade Organization to challenge, unsuccessfully, the ban on asbestos in France.
France banned the use of asbestos in 1997, and the WTO upheld France’s right to the ban in 2000. In addition, France has called for a worldwide ban.
On 21 January 2011, Indian Supreme court refused to ban Asbestos in India. This judgment was passed down for case filed by a NGO on 2004. In spite of all health hazards, Asbestos continues to be used in India widely without any restriction.
Italy fully banned the use of asbestos in 1992 and set up a comprehensive plan for asbestos decontamination in industry and housing.
Japan did not fully ban asbestos until 2004, and so its government has been held responsible for related diseases.
In 1984 the import of raw amphibole (blue and brown) asbestos into New Zealand was banned. In 2002 the import of chrysotile (white) asbestos was banned.
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