Chrysotile asbestos blocked from Rotterdam’s hazardous substances list

8 May 2017 by under News

Chrysotile SEM photo 1 100x100 Chrysotile asbestos blocked from Rotterdams hazardous substances listEvery other year the Rotterdam Convention is held as “a binding multilateral treaty to protect global human health and the environment through restrictions on international trade in hazardous chemicals and pesticides,” according to a release. Last week marked the end of the 2017 Rotterdam Convention, and of the 157 counties who have ratified the treaty, six blocked the addition of chrysotile — the only type not currently included — onto the convention’s Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list of hazardous substances.

Though the list does not ban a substance, it requires exporters to establish protocol to inform purchasers of the health hazards associated with the product, requiring consent from the destination country before export. Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Zimbabwe and Syria blocked chrysotile asbestos from being added to the list.

“Chrysotile asbestos is recognized by every leading world scientific body as a cause of asbestosis, lung cancer and , as have all other forms of commercially used asbestos that are currently listed on the PIC List,” said Richard Lemen, Ph.D., MSPH, Assistant Surgeon General (ret.), Rear Admiral, USPHS (ret.) in an Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization press release. “The pandemic of asbestos-induced diseases that the world is currently experiencing will continue to grow as thousands more uninformed users of this cancerous material will face disease and death in their future. The action of these few countries represents a callous disregard for human dignity and life.”

The convention requires total consensus in order to add a chemical to the PIC list. Rotterdam is one of three treaties dealing with hazardous chemicals and pesticides. The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Basel Convention on the disposal of hazardous waste hold Conferences in tandem with it.


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