by Laurie Kazan-Allen



  1. According to international agencies, asbestos is an acknowledged carcinogen which should no longer be used.1
  2. Exposure to all types of asbestos, including chrysotile (white) asbestos, can cause debilitating and/or deadly diseases.2
  3. The vast majority of countries have either banned the use of asbestos via legislation or restricted usage so that in 2022, only ~12% of countries use more than 500 tonnes per year.3
  4. Despite the fact that Russia is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of asbestos fiber – producing around 700,000 tonnes per year – ~60% of global production – it exports the majority of fiber produced by its mines.4
  5. In 2022 Russian asbestos stakeholders, in collaboration with vested interests from East Europe, collude to preserve and cultivate markets for asbestos despite the known health risks.
  6. The asbestos lobby pays scientists and technical “experts” to conduct research which “proves” that exposure to asbestos poses zero risk to human health and the environment.
  7. Disinformation campaigns and fake news are translated by the asbestos lobby into local languages to convince government decision-makers, trade unions and consumers that the use of asbestos is safe.
  8. When independent counties announce plans to curtail or phase-out asbestos use, they are attacked by domestic and foreign asbestos stakeholders. An asbestos ban adopted in June 2017 by Ukraine’s Ministry of Health was suspended due to pressure from the asbestos lobby in October 2017.5
  9. Global campaigners working to raise awareness about the asbestos hazard have been targeted with physical violence, deaths threats, suspicious packages, lawsuits and undercover espionage operations.
  10. Despite sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, asbestos shipments are still being dispatched, as a result of which much-needed foreign currency is being received by supporters of the Putin Government.6

March 22, 2022


1 Asbestos Policies of Major International Agencies. Accessed March 20, 2022.

2 Chrysotile Asbestos Facts. 2016.

3 Based on consumption data provided by the United States Geological Survey for the year 2016; no global usage data has been uploaded since then.

4 United States Geological Survey. Asbestos - Mineral Commodity Summaries. January 2022.

5 Kazan-Allen, L. The Fight for Ukraine Sovereignty over its Asbestos Policy. September 20, 2021.
Kazan-Allen, L Ukraine’s Asbestos War. April 15, 2021.

6 In 2019, Russia’s asbestos exports earned the country $191M (million); the biggest importers of Russian asbestos that year were India ($131M), Indonesia ($34.8M), Uzbekistan ($32M). China ($31.9M) and Sri Lanka ($11.7M).
In 2020, Russian asbestos exports were valued at $175M; the biggest importers were India ($67M), China ($38.5M), Indonesia ($22M), Sri Lanka ($9.4M), Vietnam ($9.4M), Uzbekistan ($7.8M), Thailand ($7.6M) and Bangladesh ($6.5M).
According to a Russian article uploaded on March 12, 2022, Orenberg Minerals – the owner of the biggest asbestos producer in Russia – is sending asbestos shipments by rail to China “and at the same time we are solving the issue of delivering products through this country to Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. We are looking for opportunities to arrange supplies to Vietnam and Indonesia. We are trying to resolve issues with Iran and Turkey on shipment to India, but so far it has not been possible.”
Андрей Гольм рассказал о работе «Оренбургских минералов» в условиях санкций [Andrey Golm spoke about the work of Orenburg Minerals under sanctions], March 12, 2022.



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