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Asbestos-mining ban should remain, activist tells minister

Written By Krishna on Thursday, December 06, 2012 | 9:43 AM

26 November 2012 KOLKATA,  26 NOV: The convener of advocacy group Toxics Watch Alliance wrote to the Union Minister of Mines today, asking him not to end the technical ban on asbestos mining, after the minister told the Lok Sabha there is the possibility that current restrictions may be lifted. 
Arguing that the “safe and controlled use of asbestos is impossible,” Mr Gopal Krishna, said that Union Environment Minister has recommended the phase-out of asbestos and the Kerala Human Rights Commission has banned the use of asbestos roofs in schools and hospitals. 
He also listed a number of resolutions made by international organisations which support the idea that asbestos ~ a naturally occurring mineral popular in construction because of fire-resistant qualities ~ is dangerous for health.
In a written reply to the Lok Sabha on 23 November, Minister of Mines Dinsha Patel, said a study carried out in Rajasthan by the Indian Bureau of Mines found “that subject to imposition of safeguards on pollution level in work environment, the restrictions imposed on grant and renewal of mining leases and expansion of mining may be lifted.”
The Indian Bureau of Mines, along with the Central Pollution Control Board and Directorate General of Mines Safety, has prepared draft guidelines setting out safeguards for asbestos mining which are being finalised, the reply said. Current restrictions can't be lifted until these guidelines are in place, it said.  sns

The Statesman
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