Chrysotile Factsheet

Fact 6 No threshold level of asbestos exposure has been established below which all individuals would be risk free of contracting asbestos-related diseases – including those exposed to chrysotile (Royal Commission, 1984; IARC, 1977, 2012; IPCS, 1998; IPCS 2004-2012; Collegium Ramazzini, 2015).

Fact 7 In 2001 the World Trade Organization reported: “The Panel found too that the efficacy of “controlled use” is particularly doubtful for the building industry and for DIY [do-it-yourself] enthusiasts, which are the most important users of cement-based products containing chrysotile asbestos.” The WTO stated “… we note that the carcinogenicity of chrysotile fibres has been acknowledged for some time by international bodies. This carcinogenicity was confirmed by the experts consulted by the Panel, with respect to both lung cancers and mesotheliomas, even though the experts acknowledged that chrysotile is less likely to cause mesotheliomas than amphiboles. We also note that the experts confirmed that the types of cancer concerned had a mortality rate of close to 100 percent. We therefore consider that we have sufficient evidence that there is in fact a serious carcinogenic risk associated with the inhalation of chrysotile fibres” (WTO, 2001).

Fact 8 Safer substitutes do exist for replacing chrysotile, thus eliminating the need for use of any type of asbestos in commerce (IPCS, 1998; Harrison et al., 1999; CSTEE, 2002; WBG, 2009; WHO, 2011; Collegium Ramazzini, 2015).

Fact 9 The International Labour Organisation resolved that:

“(a) the elimination of the future use of asbestos and the identification and proper management of asbestos currently in place are the most effective means to protect workers from asbestos exposure and to prevent future asbestos-related diseases and deaths; and (b) the Asbestos Convention, 1986 (No. 162), should not be used to provide a justification for, or endorsement of, the continued use of asbestos” (IL0, 2006).

Fact 10 In October 2013, the International Commission of Occupational Health (ICOH) stated “There is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of all forms of asbestos (chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, tremolite, actinolite and anthophylite)” (ICOH, 2013).

Fact 11 On June 4, 2012 the Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (JPC-SE) after “[A] rigorous review of the epidemiologic evidence confirms that all types of asbestos fibre are causally implicated in the development of various diseases and premature death.” The JPC-SE “Calls for a global ban on the mining, use, and export of all forms of asbestos” and further the JPC-SE describes how “Similar to the tobacco industry, the asbestos industry has funded and manipulated research to manufacture findings favourable to its own interests. It has set up front organisations claiming to be expert scientific institutes, such as the Canadian Chrysotile Institute, the Russian Chrysotile Institute, and the Brazilian Chrysotile Institute. But, they are, in reality, lobby groups promoting the continued use of asbestos.” (JPC-SE, 2014)