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Asbestos Related Deaths on the Rise in Asia

By Mike Riley on June 21, 2011

While most (but not all) uses of asbestos have been banned in the United States, the mineral is still used heavily in some countries, including India and China. According to a new study, 64 percent of the world’s usage of asbestos occurs in Asia. Because of this, officials expect a huge increase in asbestos-related deaths on that continent over the coming decades.

Some Asian countries, like Japan and South Korea, have banned asbestos because of the health effects. However, other Asian nations continue to expose workers to the hazardous material. Just like the epidemic of asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma that occurred in the US from asbestos use, a similar increase in those diseases is sure to happen in Asia.

Most of the asbestos used in Asia is mined and exported from Canada and Russia. Even though most uses of asbestos are banned in Canada, the country still allows its asbestos mining companies to export the deadly fiber to any countries that have not yet banned asbestos.

Read the New York Times article.