Brazil: Definitive ban of asbestos

11 December 2017 10:26


The Supreme Court (STF) banned the extraction, industrialization and commercialization of asbestos throughout the national territory. Thus, the decision ends the legal vacuum of the decision taken last August and protects the lives of all workers and citizens.

The STF decision was taken two days after Eternit, the biggest roofing producer in Brazil, said it would stop using asbestos as a raw material in its products. But the company's decision was not the result of goodwill, its commitment to the environment or concern for the health and safety of its workers. Two days before reporting this decision, on November 23, the Regional Labor Court of the state of Rio de Janeiro had increased the amount of compensation that the company will have to pay for exposing its workers to the carcinogenic product Thus, the fine was increased from R $ 30 million to R $ 500 million. Still, last August, the company had been ordered to pay R $ 500 million for the same reason in the case of its factory in the state of Minas Gerias.

The definitive ban on asbestos puts an end to what is estimated the responsible to account for 50% of occupational cancer cases. This is a great achievement for the workers.

The improvement of the health and safety conditions of construction workers, as well as all workers is a fundamental commitment of BWI, so we congratulate the STF decision to definitively ban asbestos and protect the lives of workers.