Keywords: asbestos ban, Collegium Ramazzini, carcinogens, public health, asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, ovarian cancer, chrysotile asbestos, health risks, international ban
Asbestos is still with us: repeat call for a universal ban
All forms of asbestos are proven human carcinogens. All forms of asbestos cause malignant mesothelioma and lung, laryngeal and ovarian cancers, and may cause gastrointestinal and other cancers. No exposure to asbestos is without risk. Nonetheless, a large number of countries still use, import and export asbestos and asbestos-containing products. And in many countries that have banned other forms of asbestos, the so-called 'controlled use' of chrysotile asbestos is exempted from the ban, an exemption that has no basis in medical science but rather reflects the political and economic influence of the asbestos mining and manufacturing industry. To protect the health of all people in the world - industrial workers, construction workers, women and children, now and in future generations - the Collegium Ramazzini calls again on all countries of the world, as we have repeatedly in the past, to join in the international endeavour to ban all forms of asbestos. An international ban on asbestos is urgently needed.