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Over a hundred health experts from 30 countries tell the asbestos industry : Stop endangering health in Pakistan

 One hundred and forty-three scientists and organizations from thirty countries today released a Statement telling an international asbestos lobby organization, based in Quebec, to stop opposing a ban on asbestos that has been proposed by the Pakistan National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Resource Development.

The signers of the Statement:

                                                                                                             

  • Condemn the dangerous misinformation that the International Chrysotile Association (a lobby group for the global asbestos industry) is disseminating in Pakistan, because this misinformation will cause unnecessary disease and death.

  • Condemn the International Chrysotile Association for trying to undermine a public health initiative in Pakistan to protect the people of Pakistan from asbestos-related diseases and death.

  • Emphasize that the scientific consensus is clear that all asbestos causes harm to health and that the use of any form of asbestos should be globally banned.

  • Urge the Government of Pakistan to protect the health of its citizens by banning the import and use of asbestos, as the Pakistan National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Resource Development has recommended

In a letter of January 31, 2013, Mr. Jean-Marc Leblond, Chairman of the International Chrysotile Association (ICA), wrote to Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja, a Senior Adviser at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute of Pakistan, regarding the proposed ban. Mr. Leblond claimed that numerous scientific studies show chrysotile asbestos (the only form of asbestos sold today) can be safely used and that there is no basis for banning asbestos.

“Mr. Leblond, who has sold Quebec asbestos for past decades, did not disclose that the scientific studies he submitted, were financed by the asbestos industry,” said Dr. Fernand Turcotte, Professor Emeritus of Public Health, Laval University, Quebec. “Not a single reputable scientific organisation in the world supports the findings of these studies.”

“It is indefensible that, in order to protect their profits, foreign asbestos companies are seeking to block a public health initiative in Pakistan,” said Dr. Domyung Paek, Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Seoul National University, South Korea. “The world has seen enough asbestos deaths. We urge the Government of Pakistan to protect the health of its people, not the profits of the asbestos industry

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