A court in Osaka, Japan recently ruled that the government was liable for the asbestos-related illnesses developed by 50 former factory workers and their families.
The asbestos lawsuit brought by the workers – who were exposed to asbestos by running the fiber through spinning mills while working for a transport company – claim that the government was aware of the dangers associated with asbestos by 1959. However, it did not take action to require proper safety measures and ventilation devices to be put into place until 1971.The asbestos lawsuit resulted in a ¥180 million (approximately $2.1 million) settlement for the workers, The Japan Times.
In a somewhat similar situation currently unfolding in India, 50 mine workers from Rajasthan recently held a sit-in protest in front of the National Institute of Occupational Health regarding concerns that they may be suffering from asbestosis.
Having not received free health check-ups from the institute since 2005 – which are required for the confirmation of an asbestosis or mesothelioma diagnosis before the worker can move ahead with free treatment and perhaps an eventual asbestos lawsuit – many of the workers are demanding new check-ups so they can get the care they feel they deserve.
Voices from Chernobyl: Svetlana Alexievich’s must-read oral history of the nuclear accident in the USSR - [image: Voices from Chernobyl] Svetlana Alexievich is the recipient of this year's Nobel Orize in literature. Here is her much acclaimed work on Chernobyl,...