Sao Paulo Bans Asbestos
Sao Paulo, the biggest city in Latin America, has banned asbestos to protect public and workers’ health. On February 14, 2001, the City Council unanimously approved law PL042/97 banning the use in construction of asbestos and asbestos-containing products and equipment. The regulations will be finalised within 120 days. Since the vast majority of asbestos is used in building materials, these prohibitions will virtually eliminate at a stroke this important regional market for chrysotile.
As soon as the news broke, Deputy Roberto Gouveiz confirmed that Sao Paulo State, where the country’s major asbestos factories are located, will follow suit within a few months. These important developments follow other asbestos bans instituted in Brazil by the towns of Osasco, Sao Caetano do Sul, Mogi Mirim and Mato Grasso State.
Fernanda Giannasi, a leading health and safety campaigner in Brazil, is exhilarated by the news: "The momentum to ban asbestos in Brazil has been building up; I am delighted that 100% of Sao Paulo’s councillors voted to ban asbestos. I hope our government will soon honor earlier promises to impose a national ban."
February 16, 2001