[Bangladesh]Asbestos: The slow poison killing ship-breaking workers

February 4, 2017 in Latest News, lungdisease

Workers’ deaths at the ship-breaking yards of Chittagong are a common incident, as is environmental poisoning. But researchers have now detected one deadly illness that has been silently affecting the workers for decades.

Many ships that come to the yards are filled with the mineral asbestos, used in the 1980s and ’90s for insulation on high-heat areas such as boilers and steam pipes. It has since been banned across the world for safety concerns.

In a recent study, Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE) found that almost 33% of the ship-breaking workers are affected by asbestosis, an incurable disease caused by breathing the mineral in the form of dust or fume.

The health survey, led by asbestosis expert Dr Murali Dhar, among ship-breaking workers in Chittagong’s Sitakunda upazila, examined 101 workers in two phases and found 33 workers affected with the disease. Of them, eight had become 60% disabled from the disease. Read More

OSHE foundation organised a press conference to highlight this issue on February 2, 2017 to highlight and share the workers health survey and diagnosis conducted

20170202 Dhaka Press Conference