India: Mine owners want asbestos ban lifted

The Union Ministry of Mines held a meeting recently to discuss the possibility of lifting the current technical ban on mining chrysotile asbestos. Occupational and environmental groups present at the meeting called for complete ban on asbestos of all kinds because asbestos fibers cause incurable diseases like cancer and sought Mines Ministry’s support in getting a ban imposed on import chrysotile asbestos. The draft guidelines prepared by Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), Union Ministry of Mines on possibility of safe mining of chrysotile asbestos drew severe criticism. Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI), an alliance of public health, occupational health, human rights and environment researchers and activists argued, “it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that no safe and controlled mining, production and use of asbestos and its products possible.”  Read more here.