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Listing of chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance prevented by an interested minority
In the last few weeks the Sixth Conference of the Parties (COP6) to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade took place in Geneva.
The inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the list of hazardous substances covered by the protocol (ANNEX III) was discussed in the sessions of 7-10 May.
In previous meetings the listing of chrysotile asbestos was opposed by some countries, but the change of position by Canada, which authorities announced amidst applauses that they are no longer opposing it, generated great expectations.
Sadly, despite the wide consensus among the other countries, Russia and Zimbabwe, with the active support of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Vietnam and India have succeeded, after a long-term and well financed campaign, to prevent the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos.
Such a position reflects a dramatic distortion in the priorities of these governments, which decided to give precedence to the financial interests of asbestos stakeholders over human life and health.

 
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