Pakistan is the latest country where the Ban Asbestos Campaign is making inroads. More than 170 dignitaries, experts and members of the general public took part in the Ban Asbestos Conference held on 1st February 2014 in Karachi. The Conference got a big boost with no less than the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain stating in his message “Scientific research has proved that asbestos is a human carcinogen and there is no safe level of Asbestos exposure”.
One of the key organisers of the Conference was Mr. Syed Haroon Ahmed who lost his brother Syed Fareed in 2007 due to Asbestos exposure at the Dadex Eternit factory, which has been manufacturing Asbestos cement pipes for over 50 years. Mr. Ahmed initiated his fight to ban Asbestos in Pakistan by filing a petition in the Sindh High Court and the case now awaits decision at the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Addressing the delegates, the ACEEU President and BWI Asia Pacific Regional Committee Titular Member Bro. Md. Ishtiaq Virk mentioned “ The world over, millions of people have suffered due to Asbestos exposure and, like several other countries, we also need to get asbestos banned in Pakistan”.
The Asian Ban Asbestos Network* (A-BAN) Coordinator, Sugio Furuya made a presentation on the Ban Asbestos campaign and reported on the global and regional progress made to date.
Asbestos is the biggest industrial killer of modern times. After leaving its devastating legacy in Europe, the asbestos trade has been thriving in developing economies. According to the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database, Pakistan’s Asbestos consumption is more than 10,000 metric tons per year as of 2012.
BWI is a founding member of A-BAN launched in 2009