2013 Rotterdam Convention: “Stop the Killings: Add Chrysotile Asbestos to the PIC List Now!”

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Posted on May 6, 2013

ADAO Sign for the Rotterdam Convention Final

Stop the Killings: Add Chrysotile Asbestos to the PIC List Now!” reads ADAO’s banner to be carried in a May 7 demonstration at the Rotterdam Convention in Geneva, Switzerland. PIC stands for Prior Informed Consent, meaning simply that if a toxic chemical or mineral like asbestos is going to be used in your country, you need to be told about it ahead of time so that you can protect your health. Rotterdam Convention is a multilateral treaty in which nations around the world share responsibility for safe handling of imported hazardous chemicals.

ADAO is a proud supporter of the  2013 Rotterdam Convention Alliance (ROCA) Position Paper.  This week, the Rotterdam Convention will once again discuss the fate of including chrysotile asbestos on the PIC List.

The 2013 Convention takes place from began on April 28-May 10 and is attended by representatives of countries around the world. We know that the U.S. will be well-represented by Dr. Barry Castleman, ScD, a member of ADAO’s Science Advisory Board and respected author of “Asbestos: Medical and Legal Aspects.” At the convention, colleagues and friends of ADAO will carry a banner that displays the design to the right.

The ADAO has consistently urged them to add chrysotile to the PIC list. For more background on the scientific basis behind ADAO’s position, we are proud to launch the following video presentations from our 2013 conference . Click here for Dr. Richard Lemen’s presentation on “The Role of Government in Preventing Asbestos Exposure”  or Dr. Arthur Frank’s discussion of “Diagnosing and Preventing Asbestos-Related Disease in Asia.” In addition, Fernanda Giannasi, who presented at our conference, (Brazil: From the Mines to the Courtroom will also be at Rotterdam.

Five forms of asbestos are already on the Rotterdam list of over 50 substances covered under the Convention, but chrysotile has been blocked from the PIC list by countries that mine, export and/or import the dangerous mineral. “The actions of a handful of countries, allied to the asbestos industry, are endangering the integrity and effectiveness of the Convention,” states the ROCA Position Paper. “… The purpose of the Rotterdam Convention is to advance environmental justice by providing a critical right – the Right
to Prior Informed Consent – particularly to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, to whom hazardous chemicals and pesticides are increasingly being exported and where resources to safely monitor and manage these dangerous substances are often lacking or nonexistent.”

ADAO urges the Rotterdam Convention to add chrysotile asbestos, a known carcinogen, to the Annex III Chemicals PIC List of hazardous chemicals. It is unconscionable to put business interests above public health and needlessly expose people to deadly asbestos without their knowledge.

In unity,

Linda

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