Sri Lanka, Russia wrangle over asbestos ban

29 Dec 2017 by under News
India Sri Lanka maritime boundary.svg  100x100 Sri Lanka, Russia wrangle over asbestos ban

Credit: AntanO via Wikimedia

and are currently wrangling over how new asbestos regulations will affect the two countries. After Sri Lanka issued a ban effecting asbestos imports from , the country allegedly retaliated by banning tea imports from Sri Lanka.

The Daily Mirror reported the Russian government imposed the tea ban after a beetle supposedly was found in Sri Lankan tea imports. The move was likely due to a new Sri Lankan law that would impose a blanket ban on all asbestos imports into the county, according to The Island. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena ordered the cabinet Dec. 20 to indefinitely suspend the asbestos ban, which was set to take effect in January. On Christmas Eve, Russia announced it was lifting its tea ban following Sri Lanka’s decision to suspend its asbestos ban, according to The Island. The news source reports Sri Lankan tea comprises 23 percent of the Russian market.

If Sri Lanka’s asbestos ban goes as planned, the country would join more than 60 others that have banned the carcinogen, which has been linked to the development of lung cancer and mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that affects the lining of internal organs. News sources report importers of raw asbestos—chiefly Russia due to its asbestos roof tile manufacturing—fought hard to have the ban overturned when it was first announced in 2016.

In the United States, asbestos-containing products, including roof coatings, cement shingles, floor tiling, pipeline wrap and friction materials, are still legal, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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