Colombia’s Congress passes law for complete ban on asbestos

June 13, 2019 in ABAN, Latest News

Because of its health hazards, Colombia’s congress banned on production, sale and use of asbestos. The ban will take effect in 2021 and allows local companies that use the mineral in its products a five-year transition period phase out the use of the mineral that is well known for causing, among other things, lung cancer.

Ahead of the vote, the lawmakers heard citizens who had fallen ill to a variety of diseases believed to have been caused by asbestos. Other witnesses to the debate brought images of loved ones who died because of their exposition to the cancerous mineral that has long been used in construction.

The house of Representatives, which had the final vote on the issue, unanimously agreed to the ban, much to the joy of the invited victims. The mining and export of the controversial mineral was also banned.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 100,000 people die annually as a result of their exposure to asbestos fibers.

In Colombia, during the last 50 years, more than 1,700 people have died from lung cancer and mesothelioma as a result of asbestos use.

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