Following an announcement from international trade and marketing company Balcorp that they would be traveling to India to promote ‘safe’ use of asbestos, people have spoken out against export of the hazardous material. Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff has denounced the export of asbestos. Protests against its use have occurred in India. Kathleen Ruff, a member of Rideau Institute’s Board of Directors has also commented on the issue: (10 February 2011, “Anti-asbestos group pleads to stop export,” Today’s Legal News)
Kathleen Ruff of the anti-asbestos group from Rideau Institute believes it will be impossible to regulate safe use of asbestos throughout India because working conditions are so poor.
She said that when the asbestos cement products are dispersed, villagers will be put at great risk posing significant health problems attributed to asbestos exposure. Studies showed that long exposure to high concentrations of asbestos fibers caused diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the protective lining covering the internal body organs.