MAC: Mines and Communities

USGS report shows stunning 30 percent increase in asbestos imports from Brazil

Published by MAC on 2021-02-15
Source: ADAO AND ABREA (2021-02-14)

ADAO and ABREA urge EPA and Congress to stop imports and use of asbestos now.

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Brazilian Association of People Exposed to Asbestos (ABREA) respoded to United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) recently release 2020 data, which reveals an increase of more than 30 percent in chrysotile asbestos imports from the prior year.Almost all of these imports came from Brazil, a country that enacted a comprehensive national asbestos ban in November 2017.

“Each year, nearly 40,000 Americans die from preventable asbestos-related diseases. The facts are irrefutable. We know all six asbestos fiber types are carcinogenic, that there is no safe or controlled level of asbestos exposure, and management methods to reduce exposure are ineffective and endanger public health. Asbestos must be banned now,” said Linda Reinstein, ADAO president.

See also:

2020-10-24 Residents vote to rename Quebec mining town of Asbestos

2018-10-19 Canada is set to ban asbestos mining & use

JOINT ADAO & ABREA RELEASE: New USGS Report Shows Stunning 30 Percent Increase in Chlor-Alkali Industry Asbestos Imports From Brazil
 
ADAO and ABREA Call for a Ban on Asbestos Imports and Use.

https://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/newsroom/blogs/release-new-usgs-report-shows-stunning-30-percent-increase-in-chlor-alkali-industry-asbestos-imports-from-brazil-adao-and-abrea-call-for-a-ban-on-asbestos-imports-and-use/

February 5, 2021

The following is a joint statement between Linda Reinstein, co-founder and president of The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), and Fernanda Giannasi, founder of the Brazilian Association of People Exposed to Asbestos (ABREA), in response to United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) recently release 2020 data on asbestos imports.

Washington, D.C.On Friday, February 5, 2021, the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) released 2020 data on asbestos imports, revealing the United States imported an estimated 300 metric tons of raw chrysotile asbestos into the country, an increase of more than 30 percent from the prior year. Almost all of these imports came from Brazil, a country that enacted a comprehensive national asbestos ban in November 2017.

“It is horrifying that the U.S. Chlor-Alkali industry imported over 30 percent more raw chrysotile asbestos in 2020 than in 2019,” said Linda Reinstein, ADAO president. “Each year, nearly 40,000 Americans die from preventable asbestos-related diseases. The facts are irrefutable. We know all six asbestos fiber types are carcinogenic, that there is no safe or controlled level of asbestos exposure, and management methods to reduce exposure are ineffective and endanger public health. Americans can’t wait — asbestos must be banned now.”

“It is a well-documented fact that asbestos is a known carcinogen that causes cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovaries, as well as mesothelioma and asbestosis. It is reprehensible that the United States is not only risking the lives of their own civilians, but is actively and knowingly risking the lives of workers in Brazil as well,” said Fernanda Giannasi, Associação Brasileira dos Expostos ao Amianto, and former Labor Inspector for the Ministry of Labor and Employment in Brazil. 

“I urge the U.S. chlor-alkali industry to rethink their actions and stop killing Brazilians for your own gain. The U.S. has a pivotal role in this moment to convince other countries to stop mining, import/exporting, trading and using this lethal mineral,” Giannasi continued.

The USGS report states: “The chloralkali industry is the only remaining domestic consumer of asbestos in mineral form.”

Reinstein said, “In December 2020, the EPA determined the use of chrysotile asbestos diaphragms presents unreasonable risk to health. According to a Chlorine Chemistry Division 2020 document, Olin and Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem) have ten plants now in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, New York, and Texas that continue to use chrysotile asbestos diaphragms. The reduction in plants using chrysotile asbestos diaphragms proves the industry can transition to non-asbestos technology.”

ADAO and ABREA urge EPA and Congress to stop imports and use of asbestos now.

The U.S. attempted to ban asbestos in 1989; however, the ban was overturned two years later following a pro-asbestos industry legal challenge. The U.S. is the only western industrial country to allow lethal asbestos imports and use to continue.

Associação Brasileira dos Expostos ao Amianto/Brazilian Association of the Asbestos Exposed ABREA ||  Website: www.abrea.org.br 

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) || Website: www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

 

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