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Good News for Chrysotile and the Thetford Mines and Asbestos Communities: Chrysotile’s Exclusion from the Rotterdam Convention Upheld
13/10/2006

 

News Release                                        For immediate distribution

 

Montreal, October 13, 2006 – During a meeting attended by about 100 signing countries of the Rotterdam Convention, held October 9 to 13 in Geneva, it was concluded to uphold the decision taken in 2004, not to include chrysotile in the Rotterdam Convention’s of Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list. 

 

After the meeting, Mr. Clément Godbout, President of the Chrysotile Institute, stated that he was encouraged by the decision that favours continuity for producing countries and users.  “Chrysotile is a known product; it has been governed by Convention No. 162 of the International Labour Organization since 1986, and has been subject to industrial policies of safe, controlled and responsible-use. It is therefore normal that it is not added to the same list as pesticides and other chemical products that have been banned from use. Scientific research has reaffirmed forcefully over the last few years the difference in risk between chrysotile fibres and other asbestos fibres called amphiboles. Studies on fibre biopersistance, numerous other recent scientific data, as well as modern production methods and safe work practices, have shown that without a doubt, when chrysotile is used in a safe manner, it does not present any significant risk to human health.”

 

During an earlier debate aiming to include chrysotile to the PIC Procedure of the Rotterdam Convention in 2004, members of Quebec’s National Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution asking the government of Canada to take a position in the Rotterdam Convention by speaking out against inclusion. At that time, the Canadian government played a key role most responsibly on the world stage and has maintained its position.

 

“The Institute is delighted that Canada has chosen to uphold its historic position to oppose the inclusion of chrysotile to the Convention of Prior Informed Consent (PIC); it also reiterates its confidence in the mechanisms and the international instruments such as Convention 162 of the International Labour Organization and existing programs that aim to assure safe and responsible use of chrysotile throughout the world”, Mr. Godbout added.

 

  

About the Chrysotile Institute

 

Established in 1984, at the request of the Quebec and Canadian governments, the Canadian chrysotile industry and unions of concerned workers, the Chrysotile Institute’s objective is to promote and encourage the implementation of the Canadian and Quebec policy of controlled and safe use of chrysotile, including the application of provisions of Convention no. 162 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on safe use of this fibre.

 

As an information and reference centre on the safe use of chrysotile in occupational health and safety, public health and the environment, the Institute organizes seminars, conferences, training sessions and expert missions. It publishes newsletters and participates in numerous international forums.

 

Source:  Chrysotile Institute

Information: Clément Godbout 514-877-9797 or cell. 514-236-9677