Saturday, December 19, 2009

India's Asbestos time-bomb

Unless one really thinks about it, asbestos does not appear to be a part of our everyday lives. But it exists in a range of items, from corrugated sheets to floor tiles, from brake linings to fire protection. Finely powdered asbestos has even sneaked into our lives as an adulterant in perfumed talc and as a whitener in ‘extra white basmati’ rice. Shockingly, it is neither suited to the skin nor a delicacy!

Instead “it is a time bomb that is slowly ticking away,” contends a just released study edited by David Allen and Laurie Kazan-Allen. Titled ‘India’s Asbestos Time Bomb’, the study takes a hard look at the integrated global system that mines, processes and exports this life-threatening product, and delves into the dark shadowy world of the asbestos industry that thrives on political patronage. The study is published by the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS)....more

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