Friday, May 10, 2019
State Bans Pesticide Linked To Developmental Problems by Ana B. Ibarra, Kaiser Health NewsCalifornia will ban the use of a widely used pesticide in the face of “mounting evidence” that it causes developmental problems in children, state officials announced Wednesday.
Saturday, September 1, 2018
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Asbestos is a known carcinogen and causally related to mesothelioma and lung cancer. For decades asbestos was mined and exported from the Province of Quebec.
Click here to read Ottawa does U-turn on asbestos mining (Globe & Mail)
Friday, November 10, 2017
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Washington, D.C. Oct 04, 2007 ADAO Praises U.S. Senate for Passing Senator Patty Murray's Ban Asbestos in America Act
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an organization dedicated to serving as the voice of asbestos victims, today praised the passage of Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)'s Ban Asbestos in America Act of 2007 by the U.S. Senate. The Ban Asbestos in America Act is an effort to ban all production and use of asbestos in America, launch public education campaigns to raise awareness about its dangers and expand research and treatment of diseases caused by asbestos.
"Senator Patty Murray is a hero for all asbestos victims and their families, and a future protector of generations to come, helping to ensure a safer environment for us all," said Linda Reinstein, Executive Director and Cofounder of Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). "We praise the Senate for passing Senator Murray's monumental Ban Asbestos in America Act and now encourage the House to follow this important bi-partisan lead for a full ban on asbestos. We also extend a special thanks to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) for their critical support. We look forward to the day when asbestos disease will no longer needlessly claim lives."
The occurrence of asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis, is growing out of control. Studies estimate that during the next decade, 100,000 victims in the United States will die of an asbestos related disease - equaling 30 deaths per day.
Murray's Asbestos Ban Passes Senate
Monday, February 4, 2013
"Far from being coincidental, the research being conducted, the conferences being held and the papers being published are part of a long-term, orchestrated plan by asbestos stakeholders to counter all attempts to tarnish the image of chrysotile asbestos, a substance which continues to be sold in large quantities around the world. As long as money is to be made, the industry will leave no stone unturned in its quest to milk the asbestos cash cow. It is sad to see that they may now have new allies to help them do so."Click here to read the complete article: The Lancent Highlights the IARC Controversey
Thursday, October 4, 2007
October 4, 2007 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today United States Senate unanimously passed Senator Patty Murray's bill to ban asbestos, bringing the legislation closer to enactment than at any point since Murray launched her effort to protect families and workers six years ago. Murray worked closely with Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Environment and Public Works Chairman Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to reach this historic milestone.
"This is a historic day in the fight to protect Americans. Workers and their families deserve a future free of deadly asbestos exposure, and I'm not stopping until this bill is signed into law," Murray said. "I’m very pleased that Senators from both sides of the aisle came together to unanimously support my bill. I especially want to thank Senator Johnny Isakson for his bipartisan leadership in moving this bill forward. I also want to commend Senator Barbara Boxer who championed this bill from the start and led its quick passage through her Environment and Public Works Committee."
“It was a pleasure to work with Senator Murray on crafting this legislation. This bill is the culmination of months of bipartisan work to find common ground on this important issue, and I extremely pleased the Senate acted so quickly to approve it,” Isakson said. “For the few areas where asbestos is still used in the United States, this bill provides a reasonable transition so that Americans can rid themselves of asbestos once and for all.”
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said: “Because of this bill, America is poised to join the more than 40 nations that have banned asbestos because it is deadly. This bill is long overdue.”
“I have been pleased to work closely with Senators Murray and Isakson to move this important bill through the Environment and Public Works Committee, and now through the Senate. This bill will take asbestos off the shelves, and will also ensure we continue to study and treat the health effects asbestos has already caused.”
Murray's bill would ban asbestos, invest in research and treatment, and launch a public education campaign. Murray started working to ban asbestos six years ago. This March, she re-introduced her legislation as S. 742, the Ban Asbestos in America Act of 2007.
On March 1st, Senator Murray held a hearing in her Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee on the bill.
On June 12th, the bill got a hearing before the Environment and Public Works Committee, at which Senator Murray testified.
On June 6, Murray discussed the bill's progress at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, where she was joined by doctors, a patient, environmental experts, and advocates.
On July 31st, the bill passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee 19-0.
Ban Asbestos in America Act of 2007
1. BANS ASBESTOS
Prohibits the importation, manufacture, processing and distribution of products containing asbestos. The ban covers the 6 regulated forms of asbestos and 3 durable fibers. The EPA will issue rules to ensure asbestos products are off the shelves within 2 years of the bill's enactment.
2. Dramatically Expands Research and Treatment
Creates a $50 million "Asbestos-Related Disease Research and Treatment Network"The network will be composed of 10 new research and treatment centers around the country. Locations will be selected by the director of NIH. The network will focus on finding better treatment, early detection and prevention strategies. Funded at $50 million ($1 million per center per year for 5 years). [Section 417F]
Creates a New National Asbestos-Related Disease RegistryExpands on the existing mesothelioma disease registry to include patients with other asbestos-related diseases. This national clearinghouse for data will help scientists conduct more comprehensive research. [Section 417E(c)]
Directs the Department of Defense to Conduct Additional ResearchAbout one-third of mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy. The bill directs the Pentagon to conduct additional research on asbestos disease, early detection and treatment. [Section 417G]
Identifies the Most Promising Areas for New ResearchDirects the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to study the current state of knowledge on asbestos disease mechanisms, health effects, and measurement methods. NIOSH will recommend the areas where new research is most needed. [Section 222]
3. Launches a Public Education Campaign TO PROTECT AMERICANS
The EPA Administrator shall conduct a public education campaign to increase awareness of the dangers posed by asbestos-containing products and contaminant-asbestos products, including in homes and workplaces. Patients and front-line health care providers will receive current and comprehensive information about disease awareness and treatment options. The EPA will work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Secretary of Labor, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on this public education campaign. [Section 224]
Friday, March 8, 2019
Monday, February 26, 2018
Monday, August 6, 2012
The US Geological Survey has reported that US consumption of asbestos fiber increased 13% in 2011. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and the cause of mesothelioma, a rare and fatal cancer. The US has yet to ban asbestos fiber.
"U.S. apparent consumption of asbestos was calculated to beRead USGS 2011 Mineral Report
1,180 t in 2011, a 13% increase from 1,040 t in 2010 (table 1).
It is likely that much of the additional 140 t of chrysotile
imported in 2011 went into stocks for future use rather than
being used because it was unlikely that markets had expanded.
Roofing products accounted for 41% of U.S. consumption;
diaphragms for the chloralkali industry, 28%; coating and
compounds, 2%; plastics, less than 1%; and other uses, 29%.
Much of the chrysotile for which no end use was specified was
likely to have been imported and (or) used by the chloralkali
industry in 2011, based on trade data reported by United
Business Media Global Trade (undated). Asbestos acts as a
semipermeable diaphragm to separate the chlorine generated
at the cell anode from the starting brine in the electrolytic cell.
Chrysotile was the only type of asbestos used in the United
States in 2011, 49% of which was grade 7, 16% was grade 5,
12% was grade 4, and 23% was unspecified."
More about banning asbestos
Friday, June 10, 2022
Saturday, May 18, 2013
For the fourth time, a handful of countries allied to the asbestos industry have refused to allow chrysotile asbestos to be added to the Convention’s list of hazardous substances, even though the Convention’s expert scientific committee has repeatedly recommended that it be listed and even though it has been recognized that the listing of chrysotile asbestos meets all the criteria of the Convention. The committee’s conclusions are endorsed by all leading medical organisations and by the World Health Organisation.
“It is outrageous that seven countries – Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, India and Vietnam – are turning the Rotterdam Convention into a Convention that protects profits of the asbestos industry, instead of protecting human health and the environment,” said Kathleen Ruff, co-coordinator of the Rotterdam Convention Alliance.
“The Convention requires that countries practice responsible trade by obtaining prior informed consent before they export hazardous substances to another country,” said Laurie Kazan-Allen, coordinator of IBAS, UK. “But these seven countries are determined to practice irresponsible trade and to hide the hazards of chrysotile asbestos.”
Fernanda Giannasi, a labour inspector in Brazil, reports that, in her job, she daily sees products containing chrysotile asbestos entering her country without labels, and tells of the great many victims who develop cancers from asbestos exposure in her country. “Since these countries refuse to follow responsible trade information practices, it will force other countries to resort to other measures, such as a full ban on asbestos,” said Giannasi.
“Russia and Zimbabwe recently ratified the Convention and attended the Rotterdam Convention conference of the parties for the first time,” said Sugio Furuya of the Asia Ban Asbestos Network. “It seems that they ratified the Convention with the sole purpose of wrecking it in order to protect the profits of their national asbestos industry. This is shameful, cynical conduct on their part. They are ruthlessly destroying the Convention to achieve their aim.”
“If the Convention is not going to be implemented and become empty words on paper, then what is the point of having the Convention?” asked Emmanuel Odjam-Akumatey of Ecological Restorations, Ghana. “The credibility of the Convention, and all 152 countries who have ratified the Convention is a at stake.”
“These seven countries, allied to the asbestos industry, are demonstrating contempt for the right of countries to prior informed consent, which is the whole purpose of the Convention,” said Alessandro Pugno of the Association of Asbestos Victims Families, Casale, Italy. That is why we have once against brought one hundred people, representing asbestos victims organisations, in front of the UN headquarters in Geneva and presented to the president of the conference their letter, calling for chrysotile asbestos to be listed.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
"The most efficient way to eliminate asbestos- related diseases is to stop using all types of asbestos." The World Health Organization
Public health advocates, led by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and The John McNamara Foundation, today announced the formation of the Committee to Ban Asbestos in America (CBAA). Asbestos kills more than 10,000 men, women and children every year. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported mesothelioma deaths increased from 2004 to 2005 in "Health, United States, 2007." Since first tracked in 1980, mesothelioma deaths have increased every year. "As recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in 1976 the only way to prevent asbestos-related diseases is to ban its use, the CBAA supports language in a Committee Print before the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment & Hazardous Materials," said Linda Reinstein, Chairperson of the Committee to Ban Asbestos in America. "We are calling on the U.S. Congress and the President to do the right thing and ban asbestos in America and fund critical medical programs. Doctors and scientists agree: asbestos is a carcinogen and that there is no safe level of exposure. Preventing asbestos exposure is the only way to eliminate asbestos caused diseases. Recent ADAO product testing confirmed asbestos is still found in consumer products including toys."
"Asbestos and the manufacturers of asbestos are responsible for creating the largest man made health crisis in this country," said TC McNamara, Founder of The John McNamara Foundation. "Asbestos went from being a miracle product to a serial killer which makes this legislation long overdue, but now is the time to ban asbestos in America."
Friday, August 23, 2019
Sunday, May 12, 2019
Basel Convention: Countries Take Major Step to Control Plastic Waste Dumping, Stop Major Loophole for Electronic Waste
Today, 187 countries took a major step forward in curbing the plastic waste crisis by adding plastic to the Basel Convention, a treaty that controls the movement of hazardous waste from one country to another. The amendments, originally proposed by Norway, require exporters to obtain the consent of receiving countries before shipping most contaminated, mixed, or unrecyclable plastic waste, providing an important tool for countries in the Global South to stop the dumping of unwanted plastic waste into their country. The decision reflects a growing recognition around the world of the toxic impacts of plastic and the plastic waste trade.
Because the US is not a party to the Convention, the amendments adopted today also act as an export ban on unsorted, unclean, or contaminated plastic waste for the US towards developing countries who are parties to the Convention and not part of the OECD. The amendment will have a similar effect for the EU, a party to the Convention, whose own internal legislation bans exports of waste included under the Convention to developing countries.
“Today’s decision demonstrates that countries are finally catching up with the urgency and magnitude of the plastic pollution issue and shows what ambitious international leadership looks like,” says David Azoulay, Environmental Health Director at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL). “Plastic pollution in general and plastic waste in particular remain a major threat to people and the planet, but we are encouraged by the decision of the Basel Convention as we look to the future bold decisions that will be needed to tackle plastic pollution at its roots, starting with reducing production.”
Countries halted a major loophole that would have allowed the continued export of electronic waste (e-waste), without proper controls. The proposed guidelines describing how e-waste is treated under the Basel Convention would have allowed countries to send equipment for repair without the prior informed consent procedure. The guidelines were ready for adoption, with wide support. The African region, India, and other countries, supported by civil society, raised a red flag about the inclusion of this loophole, and countries chose to continue negotiating the guidelines at the next COP, instead of adopting ineffective guidelines.
Countries established Low POPs Content Levels (LPCLs), which define the amount of POPs at which waste is considered hazardous waste. Under this designation, the waste must be disposed of in a way that destroys or irreversibly transforms its POPs content. LPCLs are key: Higher values mean that dangerous materials can, in practice, be recycled into everyday products, triggering further exposure to very toxic POPs. Mobilizing against very high values proposed by the EU, African countries and other recipient countries of waste managed to resist the extreme pressure from the EU and other developed countries, and obtained the inclusion of lower values together with the higher values proposed by the EU, opening the way for future work to lower the levels of POPs allowed in waste even further.
Parties considered a report on the role of the Basel Convention to regulate waste containing nanomaterials. It recommended the inclusion of certain nano-containing waste under the Basel Convention, and invited further work to identify those wastes that should be covered by the Convention. In a disappointing move, parties adopted a weak decision only requiring the collection of information on national initiatives to address nano-containing waste.
Stockholm Convention: Countries Pass Global Ban on Toxic PFOA
Parties to the Stockholm Convention passed a global ban of PFOA — a suspected carcinogen and endocrine disruptor that has contaminated drinking water in many parts of the world. The Stockholm Convention regulates persistent organic pollutants (POPs), some of the world’s worst chemicals that harm human health and build up in the environment and the body over time.
“While the global ban on PFOA marks an important step forward in protecting the environment and people’s health, we regret that countries undermined the scientific process of the Convention to include unjustified exemptions to the ban,” said Giulia Carlini, Staff Attorney at CIEL.
A number of wide-ranging five-year exemptions were included in the PFOA ban for firefighting foams, medical devices, and fluorinated polymers, among other uses. Though China, the European Union, and Iran participated in the scientific review process, they proposed exemptions that had not undergone scientific review or were reviewed and disqualified by the scientific committee.
“PFOA is one of the world’s worst chemicals, and yet countries have found ways to continue human exposure to its toxic harms. Tellingly, even some industry groups disagreed with some of the exemptions, as there are widely available alternatives to these chemicals,” says Carlini. “Countries’ insistence on including these exemptions — in spite of readily available alternatives and a lack of evidence — reveals a disrespect for the scientific review process at the heart of the Stockholm Convention.”
Rotterdam Convention: Countries Break 15 Years of Gridlock Using Voting Procedure for First Time Ever
In the first-ever vote taken under the Rotterdam Convention, 120 parties to the Stockholm Convention broke through gridlock and disagreement to establish a compliance mechanism for the Convention. The compliance mechanism will allow countries to be held accountable for not respecting their commitments under the Convention. After nearly 15 years of negotiations with little forward movement, countries decided that “all efforts to reach consensus had been exhausted” and opted instead to vote, for the first time in the history of the Convention. The adoption of the new mechanism through a vote means that only those parties in agreement to the provisions will be be subject to this mechanism. A total of 126 Parties voted, of which 120 agreed to the compliance mechanism and only six opposed.
Countries listed hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), a toxic chemical used as a flame retardant, and phorate, a pesticide that is extremely toxic to humans, under the Rotterdam Convention’s Annex III, meaning that countries must get the prior informed consent of receiving countries in order to export these chemicals.
Unfortunately, countries failed to take action on the five other chemicals up for listing under Annex III of the Convention. In particular, chrysotile asbestos and paraquat, which have been reviewed and identified as chemicals of concerns by the Scientific Chemical Review Committee of the Convention, and have been on the agenda for years. A handful of countries repeatedly blocked the consensus required to list these chemicals under the Convention, undermining the scientific process underlying the Convention.
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
In a historic step, the US Environmental Protection Administration [EPA] is moving to protect people from cancer risks and is moving to ban asbestos in the US. The EPA has proposed its first-ever risk management rule under the 2016 Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act.