Brazilian Ban On Asbestos Transport Upheld
On October 18, 2010, a Labour Court in São Paulo ruled in favor of action taken by the Labour Public Ministry to curtail the transportation of asbestos shipments through the state. On several instances, Labour Inspector Fernanda Giannasi had impounded asbestos freight being carried on highways in the state of São Paulo. Lawyers from Rapido 900, the country's leading transporter of asbestos, objected to the prohibition.
São Paulo State is one of four Brazilian states which have banned asbestos; state Law 12,684/2007 not only bans the use of chrysotile asbestos (other types of asbestos having been banned previously) but also prohibits the transport of asbestos through the State as well as all other industrial and commercial activities involving raw asbestos and products containing asbestos.
As Brazil's asbestos mine is located in the central part of the country, far from the coast, the travel restrictions have serious financial implications for asbestos producers. The shortest route from the Cana Brava chrysotile mine to the coast is via the São Paulo road network. Prior to the enforcement of the São Paulo regulations, the majority of asbestos exports went through the São Paulo ports of Santos and Guarujá, Brazil's biggest port complex. Asbestos deliveries for Brazilian asbestos-cement factories in the south and southeast regions of Brazil also traversed the São Paulo road system.
As a consequence of this ruling, four things are inevitable:
October 27, 2010