Tuesday, December 8, 2015

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The asbestos business may be good for some companies. But awareness about asbestos cancers should be increased as they have claimed more victims nowadays.
Asbestos Case in Belgia

Abestos cancer via mesothelioma.com
At the end of 2011, a Belgian court sentenced Eternit, a multinational manufacturer of building materials, to pay compensation of 250,000 euros to a family in which four people died as a result of exposure to asbestos. This substance consists of a natural mineral fiber that is usually used in various applications in construction, industry and consumer products. When it enters the body by inhalation, it can cause diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and pleural and peritoneal mesotelionas.

In 2000 a woman decided to sue the Eternit company after knowing she was suffering from pleural cancer, the same disease that had killed her husband, who was employed by the company at its headquarters in Kapelle-op-den-Bos ( north of Belgium). Both the woman and the two children of the marriage died because of this disease, which only happens to those who have been in contact with asbestos.

Therefore, the civil court in Brussels ultimately punished the multinational company after ruling that they were guilty of making the woman’s family use asbestos despite knowing the risks posed to human health. At that time, Eternit argued that the hazards of this material " were not clearly defined." The court took into account in ruling the "incredible cynicism with which scientific knowledge (about the dangers of asbestos) has been discarded for profit."

Asbestos Ban in Argentina
According to a report by the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI), the use of asbestos was banned in Argentina at the national level in 2001. The rule was made through Resolution 823/01 of the Ministry of Health of the Nation, regarding the production, marketing and use of such fibers in all its varieties. Also in Buenos Aires, regulation against asbestos was proclaimed through Act 1820 to 1805.

Asbestos is composed of thousands of elementary fibrils, that are solidly attached and can easily be separated longitudinally into finer and finer fibers, down to microscopic fibrils. Herein lies the key to these dangerous fibers since they may be in the air and transported away, adds the research conducted by the INTI.

Thus, waste containing asbestos fibers is considered "hazardous waste" as endorsed by Law 24,051 of 1992. In Article 2, it is stated that hazardous waste includes “any waste that may cause direct or indirect harm to living beings or contaminate the soil, water, air and the environment in general. " This law promotes healthy environments and disease prevention.

For decades asbestos has been used in construction (tiles, tiles, cement), in the automotive industry (clutches, brakes, transmission), in textiles and even in the food sector, because of its versatility as an insulator.

Global Asbestos Ban
Globally, the United States had already banned the use of asbestos in 1989, while the European Union did ten years later, after finding that exposure to this material causes "pleural cancer", a disease with high mortality.

A recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that worldwide there are currently some "125 million people exposed to asbestos in the workplace."

Asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma are diseases highly caused by inhalation of asbestos particles. Having established that asbestos is highly carcinogenic for human being, it would be normal to assume that its use is banned globally. However, in most developing countries there is no adequate monitoring and ways to prevent its use to reduce the rate of asbestos cancer case. The implementation of Asbestos removal was extended for much of the twentieth century, but unfortunately, it still has not been banned in the large parts of the world.

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