The listing of white asbestos is likely to happen after India announced its position on June 22, 2011 the third day of the 5th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Rotterdam Convention in Geneva amidst standing ovation at the plenary meeting. India was applauded for changing its stance on the issue. Listing of chrysotile asbestos in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention or the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list will mandate the exporting countries to share information on the hazards of the mineral with the importing countries. It may be noted that India is the chair for a smaller group to discuss and influence the position of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and other countries opposing the listing. The change in Indian position is attributed to recommendations of WHO, International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) besides the fact that asbestos mining and trade in asbestos waste (dust and fibers) is technically banned in India.
Union Ministry of Labour should have revealed that that the “Government of India is considering the ban on use of chrysotile asbestos in India to protect the workers and the general population against primary and secondary exposure to Chrysotile form of Asbestos" at page no. 28 of its concept paper at the two-day 5th India-EU Joint Seminar on “Occupational Safety and Health” during 19-20 September, 2011.
At the Ninth International Asbestos Disease Awareness (ADAO) Conference during March 22-24, 2013 in Washington, DC, Dr. Arthur L. Frank, chairman of environmental and occupational health at Drexel University in Philadelphia expressed concern India’s current unchecked dependence on chrysotile asbestos reflecting on multiple expert studies projecting a spike in mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in Asia by 2030. Dr Frank who is a visiting professor at Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi as well said, “What we can expect is very predictable—an absolute catastrophe of death and disease and it is “all preventable.”