ADAO Fact #2: 55 countries have banned asbestos, but the U.S. and Canada have not. In 2012 alone, the U.S. imported over 1,000 tons of asbestos.

The ADAO’s "7 Facts for 7 Days" campaign today shares: "55 countries have banned asbestos, but the U.S. and Canada have not. In 2012 alone, the U.S. imported over 1,000 tons of asbestos."

The European Union, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are among the 55 countries that have banned asbestos. More than a decade ago, in 2001, Dr. Richard Lemen testified before Congress on a bill that aimed to ban asbestos. The former acting director of NIOSH and former assistant surgeon general testified that "[t]he [World Health Organization]
recognizes what NIOSH concluded 25 years ago, in 1976, that ‘…only a ban can assure protection against carcinogenic effects of
asbestos.’"

Twelve years later, Dr. Lemen is still working toward that ban. As part of the ADAO’s Asbestos Awareness Week, Dr.Lemen answered the question: "Asbestos: What is it?"

All asbestos fiber types have been found to cause all major types of asbestos-related disease, including the most commonly used form, chrysotile accounting for over 95% in the past and 100% in todays market. In reality, most asbestos use has involved either intentional mixing of different fiber types or inadvertent contamination of a fairly pure form with small quantities of another (natural contamination)…

Vast amounts of asbestos are still used in many developing countries where exposure is not limited to just workers, by also non-occupational groups including children. For these reasons and because scientists have not been able to determine a safe level of exposure to asbestos most industrial countries have banned its use. However, this has not been true for Canada or the United States where products can still contain asbestos.

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Last update: March 06, 2014. 08:41:31 pm.