Brazilian Efforts to Ban Asbestos 2012
Last Friday (May 4, 2012), a seminar entitled National Conference on Occupational Asbestos Disease and Death and a Brazilian Asbestos Ban was held in São Paulo, Brazil. This well-attended event was organized by the Central única dos Trabalhadores (Central Union of Workers/CUT), the largest trade union in Brazil with a membership of 7.46 million. The agenda of the one-day meeting revealed the broad-based support which now exists in Brazil for a national ban as it included eminent experts from the trade union movement, the labor inspectorate, members of federal and state parliaments, the medical and legal professions and social movements including ABREA, the national association representing asbestos victims.
From left: Fernanda Giannasi, Senator Eduardo Suplicy, Junéai Martins Batista, Health Secretary of CUT, State Deputy Marcos Martins.
Although some Brazilian states have banned asbestos São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Pernambuco and Mato Grosso Brazilian legislation continues to support the controlled use of asbestos. Even as the speakers at the CUT conference were highlighting the urgent need for a change in federal policy in favour of a comprehensive ban, the police operation known as Monte Carlo was revealing the links between Brazil's asbestos lobby and criminal activities. Three political defenders of the asbestos industry caught up in the scandal are Senator Demóstenes Torres, Federal Deputy Carlos Alberto Leréia and Governor Marconi Perillo, all of whom represent the asbestos-mining state of Goiás.1
During the CUT ban asbestos meeting, São Paulo State Deputy Marco Martins, author of the São Paulo bill to ban asbestos, and Federal Senator Eduardo Suplicy, author of a draft federal asbestos ban bill, supported CUT's call for Supreme Court action on the asbestos scandal reaffirming the constitutionality of Brazilian citizens to live a life free of asbestos. Labor Inspector and veteran campaigner for a Brazilian asbestos ban Fernanda Giannasi endorsed these calls on behalf of all the country's asbestos victims.
May 10, 2012
1 Gilmar entre Perillo e Leréia.Viva o Brasil! [Gilmar between Perillo and Lereia. Long Live Brazil!]
May 10, 2012