Asbestos Meetings in Brazil 

by Laurie Kazan-Allen



A series of high-profile meetings held in Brasilia, Maceio, Simes Filho, Rio de Janeiro and Osasco generated an avalanche of media attention in Brazil over recent weeks.1 The international seminar entitled Asbestos and its harmful affects, a socio-judicial approach which took place on August 30-31, was co-organized and co-sponsored by the Brazilian Association of the Asbestos-Exposed (ABREA), in collaboration with important partners from civil society including the National Association of Labor Prosecutors and the National Association of Labour Law Magistrates. Speakers from Europe and North America discussed the manner in which asbestos victims were seeking restitution in their respective countries. The ongoing case in Italy against two former executives of Eternit, a global asbestos conglomerate which had major financial interests in Brazil, was of particular interest to conference delegates. Speaking about the judicial proceedings in Turin, Eliezer João de Souza, President of Brazilian Association of the Asbestos-Exposed (ABREA), said:

“The Eternit asbestos-cement factory was one of the major employers in Osasco. At its height 2,000 people worked at that factory. For this reason, many ABREA members have a serious interest in the progress of the civil case against Eternit in Italy. The same company which poisoned the Italian workers, also poisoned us. It is our sincere hope that Italian-Brazilian victims (of Eternit) can be admitted as part of this trial and that the individuals responsible for Eternit's conduct will be convicted.”

At the conclusion of the conference, the “Carta De Brasilia” (letter from Brasilia) was approved. This document, which was addressed to the Brazilian Parliament and Supreme Court:

  • urged the national Congress to adopt an immediate ban on the mining, use, transport, import and export of asbestos fibers and products that contain them;
  • called for judicial support for action declaring the “controlled use” of chrysotile asbestos unconstitutional on the grounds of infringing human rights.

During the nearly two weeks of asbestos events in Brazil, the Portuguese translation of an Italian book entitled: The Wool of the Salamander, about the asbestos tragedy in the Italian town of Casale Monferrato, was launched to much acclaim. The original print run of this book has already been distributed! Commenting on the significance of this novel, Engineer Fernanda Giannasi, a founding member of ABREA, said:

“Within this small volume is contained a love story which poignantly illustrates the human tragedy caused by asbestos. By telling the story of Romana Blasotti Pavesi and her beloved husband Mario, the author of this work – Giampiero Rossi – tells the story of thousands of families all over the world whose lives have been so horribly torn apart through the greed of asbestos profiteers like Eternit. This book, originally published in Italian, is now available in Spanish and Portuguese. The Portuguese version has been very well received in Brazil and we hope that versions in other languages will follow.”

September 28, 2010


For more blogs, articles and uploads, google:
Amianto e seus males: uma abordagem sócio-jurídica



       Home   |    Site Info   |    Site Map   |    About   |    Top↑