Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Mesothelioma & Asbestos Worldwide

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Although many countries ban or restrict the use of asbestos, that ban is not universal. Some developing countries continue to mine and use asbestos – considered a toxic mineral by nearly all health officials – because it is relatively inexpensive compared to other substitute products. Surprisingly, the United States has not completely banned asbestos – only six asbestos products are banned while many other asbestos-containing products continue to be used in the U.S. Keep reading to learn more about other countries and how asbestos is regulated around the globe.

Governments of India and Vietnam, among others, maintain that because some types of asbestos are less harmful than others, safe handling will prevent exposure. That position opposes the view of the World Health Organization (WHO), which argues that the best way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to stop mining and using asbestos altogether. 
WHO officials estimate that 125 million people around the world are annually exposed to asbestos in the workplace, and the International Labor Organization says about 100,000 workers die each year from an asbestos-related disease.
In 2010, the American Public Health Association joined the call of at least three major international health organizations in asking for a global ban on asbestos use. The World Federation of Public Health Organizations, the International Commission on Occupational Health, and the International Trade Union Confederation earlier recommended such a ban.
According to Jock McCulloch and Geoffrey Tweedale, authors of Defending the Indefensible: The Global Asbestos Industry and its Fight for Survival, “Asbestos is still mined and used in the developing world, where the problems that were experienced in America and Europe in the 20th century are now being duplicated in China, Russia, India and other countries in the Far East.”
Here is a list of countries with well-documented histories of asbestos production and use and what is being done to limit exposure. 

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