[From the web] Labor and Environmental Groups Demand Listing of Chrysotile Asbestos in Rotterdam Convention

Labor and Environmental Groups Demand Listing of Chrysotile Asbestos in Rotterdam Convention

As the 2023 meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions get underway in Geneva, Switzerland, Filipino groups championing labor and chemical safety rights appealed to governments to include chrysotile asbestos among the hazardous chemicals that can only be traded with prior informed consent (PIC) of the importing country.

In a joint press release, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and the EcoWaste Coalition urged the few countries blocking the listing of chrysotile asbestos under Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention to join the majority of countries seeking global consensus to control the international trade in chrysotile asbestos.

The Rotterdam Convention’s Chemicals Review Committee has long recommended the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos among the industrial chemicals to be listed in Annex III, the groups noted. According to health experts, “no safe level can be proposed for asbestos because a threshold is not known to exist,” they also pointed out.

“We urge the minority of countries to desist from blocking the long overdue decision by the COP to list chrysotile asbestos under Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention, which if adopted, will subject this hazardous chemical to the treaty’s legally binding PIC rules. Such a decision is needed to protect the health of workers and the general public from this serious threat to human health,” said TUCP President and House Deputy Speaker Democrito Mendoza.

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