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Scientific approach to safety usage of Chrysotile-cement products.

Position of the Russian Government

Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation, No. 869 of 31 July 1998, Moscow

Position of the Russian Federation regarding the use of chrysotile asbestos

In the last few years several countries have banned the use of chrysotile and chrysotile-containing products having not quite sufficient grounds for that, regardless of the fact that this material has been used by a man for different purposes thanks to its natural properties for over 100 years now.

On the basis of a long-term experience in the use of chrysotile asbestos inRussia, research done by theRussianAcademyof Medical Sciences, and recommendations of the International Labor Organization on safety in the use of asbestos theRussian Federationbelieves that:

- the adopted bans on the use of asbestos in some countries are based on medicobiological and statistical data on asbestos-related diseases mainly induced by amphibole asbestos. They do not consider national socio-economic interests, research results or the latest scientific and technical achievements in the production and use of chrysotile asbestos;
- the excessively hasty and poorly founded refusal to use chrysotile asbestos has no sufficient medico-biological grounds and may lead to serious negative consequences for economy of a great number of countries.

The Russian Federation supports provisions of ILO Convention No. 162 on Safety in the Use of Asbestos and believes that meeting the requirements of this Convention with a simultaneous implementation of complex organizational and technical measures for control of the use of chrysotile and chrysotile-containing products guarantees its safety both for the man and the environment.

The Russian Federation proposes to conduct in 1998-2000 in cooperation with other countries additional studies and consultations on medico-biological evaluation of chrysotile asbestos and its substitutes from the point of view of their effects on human health and the environment and make coordinated decisions motivated by concern about human welfare as well as to refrain from banning the use of chrysotile asbestos until new research results are obtained.