Asbestos around the world

As the dangers of asbestos use were gradually brought to light, many countries began to impose legislations on working with asbestos, with some banning its use completely.

Despite this, there are many countries across the world still using it, and some even continue to actively mine asbestos. Russia, China, India and Kazakhstan still have operational asbestos mines and these leading producers also export to other large countries, such as Thailand. Many more developing countries use asbestos despite the severe health risks as it is cheap and extremely resilient. Unfortunately, it’s extremely likely that asbestos workers in these countries, and even people living close to manufacturing plants, will develop some form of asbestos related disease.

There is still a global push for more awareness and regulations regarding the use of asbestos across the world. For the past 12 years the debate to ban asbestos in Columbia had been ongoing but was reportedly pushed when journalist Ana Cecilia Niño fell ill with an asbestos-related cancer, obtained from living in close proximity to a factory that used it, and spent her dying days campaigning for the ban. She passed away in 2012. A foundation was set up in her name to continue raising awareness using educational activities, social networking and new technologies.

Finally, in June 2019, Columbia became the latest country to impose a complete ban on the manufacturing and use of asbestos; a bill that will take effect in 2021. As remarkable as this is, Columbia is one of only seven countries in the world that have completely banned asbestos.

At JAX, we work hard to build awareness of the dangers of asbestos and implications for public health across the UK and beyond.

Asbestos factory, Ahmedabad, India