How Exposure to asbestos poses severe health risks

Last Modified Saturday, 28 April 2018 (17:45 IST)
Kolkata: Sound scientific evidence shows that any to asbestos fibres poses significant health risks. Despite this, the mineral continues to be present, as well as extensively used and traded globally. According to recommendations, the most effective way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is through a ban on the use, production and trade of all forms of the substance.

Some countries, however, have struggled to develop strong policies on asbestos, such as bans, due to the assumed negative economic impact of such measures.This underscores the importance of assessing the actual economic dimension of the burden of diseases to better promote more efficient and effective policies on the environment and health. Substantial progress has been made in terms of available methodologies, tools and applications for economic assessment at the global, regional and national level. In the case of asbestos-related diseases, the large costs of the health impact of asbestos have been documented in several different countries.

But these economic assessments need to be taken further, to develop the available tools and to strengthen capacities in countries to conduct analysis of the economic dimension and societal costs and/or benefits of banning asbestos.To help meet this need, WHO and the economic consulting company conducted an assessment of the economic costs to society of asbestos production and use. The findings were published in a report, launched in 2017. It aims to provide country-level decision-makers with the relevant evidence needed to justify policies that enable a shift towards safe asbestos substitutes and that prevent occupational and environmental exposure to asbestos. (UNI)
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