WHO Support for Global Asbestos Ban 

by Laurie Kazan-Allen



In October 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a policy statement on the Elimination of Asbestos-Related Diseases which echoed the ILO's 2006 Resolution on Asbestos. Recognizing the health hazard posed by continued asbestos use, the WHO is calling for a worldwide ban:

“Bearing in mind there is no evidence for a threshold for the carcinogenic effect of asbestos and that increased cancer risks have been observed in populations exposed to very low levels, the most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to stop using all types of asbestos. Continued use of asbestos cement in the construction industry is a particular concern because the workforce is large, it is difficult to control exposure, and in-place materials have the potential; to deteriorate and pose a risk to those carrying out alterations, maintenance and demolition. In its various applications, asbestos can be replaced by some fibre materials and by other products which pose less or no risk to health.”1

October 17, 2006


1 http://www.who.int/occupational_health/publications/asbestosrelateddiseases.pdf



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