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    • Scientists and scientific organisations around the world call on Government of India to withdraw a flawed study on chrysotile asbestos and stop blocking UN Convention

      MEDIA RELEASE: March 23, 2015

      Dozens of prestigious scientific organizations and scientists from around the world have issued a Statement calling on the Government of India to withdraw a discredited scientific study on chrysotile (white) asbestos and to stop blocking the listing of chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance at an upcoming UN meeting.

      The ‘Study of Health Hazards / Environmental hazards resulting from use of Chrysotile variety of Asbestos in the country’, carried out by the National Institute of Occupational Health (India), states that it found no evidence that chrysotile asbestos is causing harm to health of workers in India. The Government is using the study as the reason why it will oppose the listing of chrysotile asbestos under the Rotterdam Convention at a UN conference in Geneva in May. The Convention setssafety standards to promote responsible trade in hazardous substances.

      “The study has no scientific credibility,” states Dr. Philip Landrigan, President of the Collegium Ramazzini and Dean for Global Health, Icahn School of Medicine, MountSinai, New York. “It is flawed in the design, methodology and interpretation of theresults.”

      “We would like to strongly state that the ‘claim’ being made by the government of India regarding the ‘safety’ of Chrysotile asbestos is unacceptable to any credible scientists or scientific community. The world scientific community hasoverwhelmingly concluded that Chrysotile asbestos causes deadly diseases, such asasbestosis, mesothelioma and lung and other cancers, and that it cannot be safely used,” says the Statement.

      “We therefore request the Government of India to withdraw the NIOH study, which does not hold up to any credible scientific scrutiny and do the right thing by supporting the listing of Chrysotile asbestos at the upcoming UN conference,”concludes the Statement. The Statement has been sent to the Government and aresponse is awaited.

      For more information:

      NOTE: The Statement by Scientists is available here or may be obtained by contacting 

      Mohit Gupta, Occupational & Environmental Health Network of India (OEHNI),

      mohit.gup@gmail.com; Madhumita Dutta, OEHNI, madhudutta.new@gmail.com;

      or Kathleen Ruff, Rotterdam Convention Alliance (ROCA), kruff@bulkley.net.

      Downloads

      Statement of scientists on the ‘scientific’ study by National Institute of Occupational Health (India) titled ‘Study of Health Hazards / Environmental hazards resulting from use of Chrysotile variety of Asbestos in the country’

      NIOH Study of Health hazards / Environmental hazards resulting from use of Chrysotile variety of Asbestos in the country

    • OSH Rights: February 2015, No 33

      In this Issue

      • Occupational Health Practitioners for Change
      • Update from Partners
      • NIOSH Releases Noise Measurement Database
      • The haunting poetry of a Chinese factory worker

        who committed suicide

      • Silicosis swallows mine workers in Rajasthan
      • WHO European Environment and Health Ministerial

        Board

      • Progress on Asbestos Ban in Nepal!

      Read More

    • Obituary of Professor Yu Xinhua

      ObituaryofProfessorYuXinhua On 22 September 2014, we lost a great teacher, respected colleague and good friend, Assistant Professor Yu Xinhua, a  member of the Faculty of Law at North West University in Xian and an active member of the China ANROEV Network.  With heavy hearts, we mourn his loss and we convey our sincerest condolences to his family.

       We are devastated and heartbroken but we know that despite his untimely departure, his laughter, his tenacious belief in  the rule of law and his unwavering idealism will continue to serve as a beacon of light for us in the darkest of times.

       Even during his last moments as he was fighting this deadly illness, he did not stop working, and completed the translation  and publication of ‘The OSH Legal Resources Handbook’. We are filled with admiration for Professor Yu’s dedication to his  research, the passion for his work, and the compassion for the most vulnerable members of our society. His strength of character and the pride he took in his work will forever be an inspiration to us.

      Professor Yu was a man who lived by his words and ideals. In ‘The Meaning of Living’, the postscript to the OSH Legal Resources Handbook, he wrote:
      “One should not simply live, but one should seek to live a meaningful life. One should not simply live for oneself, but should live to help others find meaning in their lives. It is only in this way, that living becomes more than just life, and the true meaning of living can be realised.”ObituaryofProfessorYuXinhua_chart

      We believe that Professor Yu, in the 37 years he spent among us, did not simply live for himself. He truly lived a meaningful life.
      Teacher Yu’s legacy goes far beyond his contribution to the workers’ and victims’ movement in China. His research and publications on occupational injury law were valuable tools, which will continue to empower the occupational safety and health movement in Asia. His loss will be deeply felt by all who knew him.

      Within every student he has taught, or anyone who has had the privilege of working with him, Teacher Yu has awakened and instilled a sense of justice and integrity. His aspirations and dreams therefore live on in all of us. In his passing, a flame has been extinguished, but many more fires have been kindled.

      May Professor Yu rest in peace, and may his family find solace in his cherished memory.

      Asia Monitor Resource Centre

      Hong Kong Social Security Society

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