Asbestos is banned in most industrialised countries. Yet it is still the biggest occupational killer worldwide: the International Labour Organisation estimates asbestos causes 100,000 deaths globally every year through occupational exposure alone.
This is truly a global epidemic with a preventable cause. There is scientific consensus based on conclusive proof that all types of asbestos are hazardous for human health. The International Agency for Cancer Research classifies asbestos as a proven human carcinogen.
Over 90% of the asbestos mined and sold in the world is chrysotile asbestos. The most common use for asbestos worldwide is in the manufacture of asbestos-cement construction materials such as slates, roofing materials and pipes. Almost all municipal buildings, housing for economically poorer people in developing countries and economies in transition are constructed with use of corrugated asbestos-cement, as it is cheap and easily accessible.
WECF works with partners to highlight the dangers of asbestos and to work towards a worldwide ban on asbestos and the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the Annex III list of prior informed consent of the Rotterdam Convention.
To promote the full and effective implementation of the Rotterdam Convention, WECF is a member of the ROCA (Rotterdam Convention Alliance) an Alliance of Environmental, Labour and Health organizations around the world.
Have a look at our publications, events and activities by scrolling down the page ...
- WECF Fact Sheet on asbestos (English and Turkish)
- Inventory English: Asbestos: Realities Problems and Recommendations
- Inventory Russian: АСБЕСТ: РЕАЛЬНОСТЬ, ПРОБЛЕМЫ, РЕКОМЕНДАЦИИ
- Resolution Kazakhstan
- Position Paper ROCA on COP5
- Position Paper ROCA on COP6
- Resolution Moscow Conference
- Inventory Kyrgyzstan 2011 in Russian
- Inventory Kyrgyzstan 2011 in English
- Position Paper ROCA on COP7 2015 in English
- Position Paper ROCA on COP7 2015 in Russian
- Paper on FAQs: Chrysotile and the Rotterdam Convention COP7 2015
EVENTS & POLICY ACTIVITIES
Participation at COP7 of the Rotterdam Convention and ExCOPs, with ROCA delegation:
- ROCA position paper in English and in Russian
- Plenary Intervention
- Organisation of side event: “Chrysotile Asbestos and the question: Who pays the bill”
Participation at COP6 Rotterdam Convention and ExCOPS, with ROCA delegation
Download the ROCA position paper here.
WECF co-organised the International Expert Conference on Asbestos in Kiev, and demands phase-out of asbestos production and use in Ukraine
Participation at ADAO side event at Rio+20 Peoples Summit, Brazil
WECF co-organised the 1st CSO Moscow asbestos conference in October 2010 Article on Moscow Conference October 2010
Side event during Conference in Astana: Green Mechanisms and Green Decision in Mining: Move to Green and Sustainable Economy, Sept 28, 2010
Side Event during CSD 18, UN Headquarters New York, May 6, 2010
Parma – 2010 – Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health of the WHO Europe
CEHAPE award: en français
CEHAPE award: in english
More information on CEHAPE Parma Process:
Astana – 2010 - Asia and Pacific Region Ministerial Conference in Astana
WECF organized a side event about uranium and asbestos mining
Bali - 2010 - UNEP Governing Council and Global Ministers for the Environment Forum.
WECF chaired the major groups and organized side event on environmental health and harm from continuous use of chrysotile asbestos.
First ever conference on chrysotile asbestos and health in Kazakhstan
Asbestos in Eastern Europe and the Rotterdam Convention
Conflict at Rotterdam Convention meeting in Rome
As early as 2005 WECF supported a Campaign to ban Asbestos
Kazakhstan is one of the biggest producers and consumers of asbestos.
A training manual was developed and seven trainings were conducted and a high-level international expert conference took place in Astana
Kazakhstan is open to debate on Asbestos
The project, financed by the European Union, is in its last stage.
In this project tests on chrysotile asbestos will be conducted in seven cities and seven trainings will be conducted. For the preparation of the international conference COP5 of the Rotterdam convention a conference is planned in spring 2011. Part of this project was a high-level conference in Moscow in October 2010. You can find more information on the project "Asbestos in Kyrgyzstan" on the project page
The goal of this project is the reduction of dangerous chemicals, like asbestos and pesticides. There will be trainings and demonstration sites with non-chemical solutions. The project is financed by SAICM, the duration is 24 months starting in January 2011.
RUSSIA, KAZAKHSTAN & UKRAINE: Russia, Kazakhstan and the Ukraine – 2008
More information can also be found here
22.12.2008 | Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Canada, Chrysotile and Cancer: Health Canada’s Asbestos International Expert Panel Report
23.09.2010 | Jim Morris
Exporting an Epidemic: A Global Asbestos Crisis
02.08.2010 | TVE and BBC World News
TVE and BBC World News made movie on asbestos.