Rotterdam Convention Participants Fail to Label Chrysotile Asbestos as
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At the Fall 2008 Rotterdam Convention, representatives of the 126 member
countries failed to reach an agreement regarding the classification of
chrysotile asbestos as a dangerous substance.
All countries exporting a product on the dangerous substances list are required
to provide the importing country with an official warning detailing the
product’s dangers, the potential harm to the environment and the health risks
associated with exposure to the product.
Chrysotile asbestos accounts for 94 per cent of global asbestos
consumption. Exposure to asbestos is known to cause serious diseases such
as mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer and asbestosis.
A group of seven countries, including India, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, voiced
their opposition to chrysotile's inclusion on the list. The convention
participants ruled that chrysotile asbestos would be discussed at the next
convention, to be held in 2010 or 2011.
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over 20 years. Men and women diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by asbestos
exposure may be entitled to compensation from the companies responsible for
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