Welcome to GBAN!

November 15, 2010 Press Release

The power of social media is undeniably revolutionary, dynamic, and essential for grassroots organizations. Decades of work from around the world to educate, advocate, and ultimately ban asbestos has culminated in the creation of a new social media based community effort called the Global Ban Asbestos Network (GBAN).

GBAN is a non-profit and independent initiative established to promote and facilitate collaboration, communication, and action to achieve a global asbestos ban.  GBAN is being launched two months earlier based news and need, and will continue to add additional Charter Members representing their country and content to our website.  Our connected social media resources will pioneer innovative methods to improve the efficacy of grassroots efforts to combat the global asbestos threat. The Facebook page was the first part of the network and has hundreds of followers already within just a few weeks.

GBAN is proud to introduce the first 24 Charter Members representing 17 countries who have joined in solidarity and support. Initial charter members will be joined by other leading ban asbestos individuals from across the globe as GBAN rapidly expands. Each Charter Member can regularly contribute content to the site, providing an additional one-stop resource representing the world’s preeminent asbestos authorities. Technology allows the GBAN website portal to translate postings into nearly 60 different languages. In addition, visitors will be able to utilize a variety of social media programs including Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Picasa Photos to post comments, pictures, videos, etc. while easily sharing information with the click of a mouse.

We have nearly 300 GBAN Facebook supporters who have ‘liked’ the ‘page’ and had more than 4,000 visits with a soft launch.

It’s exciting to look at how all of our global efforts are now coming together through this kind of extensively linked social media network. GBAN is a strong and powerful reminder that the voices of ban asbestos advocates are truly united.

GBAN was founded by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Brazilian Association of the Asbestos-Exposed (ABREA).

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Dr. Richard Lemen Presents in Berlin: “Pandemic Dimensions of Asbestos Induced Cancer”

Posted on March 3, 2014

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Dr. Richard Lemen, ADAO Science Advisory Co-Chair and Assistant Surgeon General (ret.) & RADM (ret.) USPHS

“As Co-Chair of Science Advisory Board of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, I am pleased to share news from the recent German Cancer Congress I attended which was held 19-22 February in Berlin, Germany after attending and participating with Linda in the International Conference on Monitoring and Surveillance of Asbestos-Related Diseases in Helsinki, Finland the previous week (discussed in more detail in this Newsletter).  In Berlin during the session on “The Situation of Asbestos Victims” I discussed the “Pandemic dimensions of asbestos induced cancer”.  Presentations were also given by two of my colleagues and Fellows, along with myself, of the Collegium Ramazzini.  Professor Woitowitz discussed Asbestos related lung cancer: Epidemiology versus compensation practice in Germany” and Dr. Baur discussed “Recognition of asbestos induced occupational diseases without histology.” Other participants included Dr. Evelyn Glensk, chair of the session and Laurie Kazan Allen of the International Campaign to Ban Asbestos and in absentia Dr. Paunovic of the WHO Regional Office for Europe.

I was most please to represent ADAO as a signatory to the Declaration in Berlin on Health hazards due to asbestos and the situation of the asbestos-related diseased.  It is hoped this Declaration will bring more awareness and attention for the victims of asbestos-related diseases in Germany.  For more than 40 years, I have worked on public health policy in the United States and elseware to reduce and eliminate asbestos-related diseases.  I am pleased that through participation with other global leaders that efforts continue for the elimination of asbestos-related diseases worldwide.  We have made progress now that over 50 Countries of the world now ban all uses of asbestos.  However, in our own backyard we still have much work to do since our own country, the United States, still allows asbestos to be used.  As long as this continues I will be discussing the Pandemic of Asbestos-Related Diseases rather than their eradication.”

Dr. Richard Lemen, ADAO Science Advisory Board Co-Chair and Assistant Surgeon General (ret.) & RADM (ret.) USPHS

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A Twist of Fate: Italian Asbestos Victims’ Investigator Finds Evidence Stephan Schmidheiny’s Avina Foundation Donated to Yale University by Linda Reinstein

Posted on December 9, 2013

Revoke Convicted Asbestos Criminal  Stephan Schmidheiny  honorary Yale doctorate_edited-2

Corporate Crime Reporter: Italian Asbestos Victims Call on Yale To Revoke Honorary Degree to Schmidheiny @CorpCrimeReport

The Courant: Asbestos Victims Ask Yale To Revoke Honorary Degree Of Former Factory Owner @hartfordcourant

Yale Daily News: A Toxic Legacy @yaledailynews

ADAO BLOG: ADAO Supports AFEVA’s Plea to Yale University to Revoke Schmidheiny’s Honorary Doctorate

On October 30, 2013, an Italian asbestos victims’ group, Associazione Famigliari Vittime Amianto (AFeVA) has sent a letter and petition to Dr. Salovery asking Yale to revoke asbestos criminal, Stephan Schmidheiny’s, honorary doctorate.

Yale University awarded billionaire Schmidheiny an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 1996, ten years after the Eternit plant in Casale was closed, leaving behind an environment disaster.  The Italian court noted that Schmidheiny’s actual knowledge of the deadly hazards of asbestos dated back at least as far as 1976 when he attended an Eternit managers conference and was involved in key decision-making about the company’s asbestos business.

Yale University asserted in the October 30, 2013 letter that neither Schmidheiny, Eternit nor Schmidheiny’s Avina Foundation ever contributed gifts or grants to Yale.  Wrong!  In an interesting twist, however, investigators working with the legal counsel for the Italian victims located Yale News Releases from 1996 and 1997 indicating that the Avina Foundation provided “major project support” for a Yale conference on U.S. environmental policy and for a Yale publication on the environment.  The form and extent of such “major project support” is, as yet, unknown, but additional inquiries have been made by AFEVA’s legal counsel to Yale University in pursuit of more information about Avina’s involvement.

Yale University has not responded to the Italian asbestos victims’ plea for more information about the honorary degree awarded to Eternit Company asbestos magnate, Stephan Schmidheiny, in 1996.  Yale Vice-President and Secretary has reiterated its refusal to review the Schmidheiny matter.

Please join the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) in supporting AFEVA’s plea to Yale University to revoke Schmidheiny’s honorary doctorate and to release records about Schmidheiny’s contributions to Yale.  You can email Yale President Peter Salovey at president.office@yale.edu and say:  “We stand with AFEVA and ADAO.  Please revoke asbestos criminal Stephan Schmidheiny’s honorary Yale doctorate.”

ADAO would like to recognize and thank Mr. Christopher Meisenkothen for representing AFEVA and bringing their voice and action to the USA.

Linda Reinstein, Global Asbestos Awareness Network (GBAN) Co-Founder

 

 

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French-asbestos-protesters-via-AFP-615x345This is a test post to see if I can add a picture to it.

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MEDIA RELEASE: “Health advocates call on Indian government to end all use of asbestos”

SOURCE: Right on Canada

MEDIA RELEASE: December 2, 2013

india-flagIn a letter released today, over 200 scientists and over 100 labour and health organizations from 36 countries strongly condemned efforts by asbestos industry organisations to promote use of chrysotile asbestos in India. The letter, sent to Health Minister Sh Gulam Nabi Azad, Labour Minister Sh Sis Ram Ola and Environment Minister Ms Jayanthi Natarajan, noted that the asbestos industry is on a mission to enhance its profits and urged the National Government of India to put the health of the Indian population ahead of the vested interests of the asbestos industry.

“The International Chrysotile Association and the Asbestos Cement Products Manufacturers’ Association of India (ACPMA) are disseminating deadly, deceptive misinformation about chrysotile asbestos, that will cause suffering and loss of life for years to come,” said Dr. Joseph LaDou, Emeritus Chair, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of California School of Medicine, USA.

“These organisations claim that scientific research shows that chrysotile asbestos can be safely used,” said Professor Luiz Augusto Facchini, Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brazil. “This claim is utterly false. The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization, as well as numerous other scientific organisations, have all called for an end to the use of chrysotile asbestos in order to prevent further tragic epidemics of asbestos-related diseases.”

“While a handful of scientists financed by and allied to the asbestos industry, deny the health risks of chrysotile asbestos and promote its continued used, not a single reputable scientific body in the world supports this position,” said Dr. Fernand Turcotte, Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Laval University, Québec, Canada.

In the face of the public health disaster caused by asbestos, 54 industrialized countries have banned any use of asbestos. The asbestos industry, in order to ensure its continued profits, is aggressively targeting Asian countries for sales. Just six Asian countries – China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lanka – now represent 70% of world asbestos consumption.

India imports more asbestos than any other country in the world, with imports having risen from 253,382 tons in 2006 to 473,240 tons in 2012, an increase of 186%. “These vast amounts of asbestos, being placed in homes and schools across India, are a deadly time bomb that will go on causing suffering and deaths for decades to come,” said Dr V. Murlidhar, Pneumoconiosis compensation board, TN Trust, UK and Trauma surgeon, Mumbai, India.

As a result of increased use of asbestos in Asia, asbestos experts, Dr. G.V. Le and Dr. K. Takahashi have warned: “A surge of Asbestos Related Disorders (ARD) in Asia should be anticipated in the coming decades. Asian countries should not only cease asbestos use but also prepare themselves for an impending epidemic of ARD.”

One of the ‘eminent’ speakers at the forthcoming conference, Dr David Bernstein was found by a New York court early this year to have committed potential crime-fraud by publishing a number of scientific papers that were financed and controlled by an asbestos products company.

The independence of a 2012 study conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Health titled ‘Health hazards/ environmental hazards resulting from use of Chrysotile variety of asbestos in the country’ commissioned by the Ministry of Chemicals and Petrochemicals was tarnished by the participation of the asbestos industry behind the scenes.

Commenting on the study, Dr Arthur Frank, Professor of Public Health, Drexel University, USA stated: “There are so many things wrong with this study it is hard to know where to begin. Perhaps the single most damning statement in the whole document is to be found on page 106 – All workers were using personal protective equipment device such as a piece of cloth as mask. Who could possibly believe that a piece of cloth acts as a piece of protective equipment?”

We call on the three government ministers to reject the discredited propaganda of a tainted, irresponsible industry and instead show leadership that respects reputable science and protection of health.

We call on the national government to adopt an enlightened policy and to support the WHO’s recommendation to end all use of asbestos in India.

CONTACT:

Mohit Gupta, Occupational and Environmental Health Network of India, oehni.del@gmail.com

Krishnendu Mukherjee, Barrister, tublumukherjee@yahoo.co.uk

Madhumita Dutta, Occupational and Environmental Health Network of India, madhudutta.new@gmail.com

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12.2.2013 Press Conference: ‘Stop Spreading Lies. Ban Asbestos NOW!’

Posted on November 30, 2013

Delhi Press ConferencePress Conference – ‘Stop Spreading Lies. Ban Asbestos NOW!
December 2, 2013  12.15 PM – 2:15 PM
Press Club of India, 1, Raisina Road, New Delhi-110 001

India imports more asbestos than any other country in the world, with imports having risen from 253,382 tons in 2006 to 473,240 tons in 2012, an increase of 186%. These vast amounts of asbestos, being placed in homes and schools across India, are a deadly time bomb that will go on causing suffering and deaths for decades to come.

As a result of increased use of asbestos in Asia, asbestos experts, Dr. G.V. Le and Dr. K. Takahashi have warned: “A surge of ARD in Asia should be anticipated in the coming decades. Asian countries should not only cease asbestos use but also prepare themselves for an impending epidemic of Asbestos Related Diseases.”

The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization, as well as numerous other scientific organisations, have called for an end to all use of chrysotile asbestos in order to prevent further tragic epidemics of asbestos-related diseases.

In the face of the public health disaster caused by asbestos, 54 industrialized countries have banned any use of asbestos. The asbestos industry, in order to ensure its continued profits, is aggressively targeting Asian countries for sales. Just six Asian countries – China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lanka – now represent 70% of world asbestos consumption.

Victims and Workers from Ahmedabad and Mumbai will be narrating their stories and hardships they have encountered after suffering from Asbestos related diseases. Activists and experts will be present to answer queries. Mr H Mahadevan, Vice Chairman of National Safety Council will present his views on Asbestos.

For further information, please contact:
Mohit Gupta – 9811369045
Madhumita Dutta – 09444390240

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“Russian asbestos companies paid for scientific article that supports asbestos use” by Kathleen Ruff

Posted on November 27, 2013 

SOURCE: Right on Canada 

Russian asbestos companies paid for scientific article that supports asbestos use” by Kathleen Ruff

Kathleen RuffKathleen RuffThe International Chrysotile Association (a lobby organisation for the global asbestos industry) is celebrating the publication of an article, Health Risks of Chrysotile Revisited, by the journal, Critical Reviews in Toxicology.

The article was written by two longtime advocates for asbestos use, who have worked extremely closely with and been financed by the asbestos industry for many years – David Bernstein, PhD and Jacques Dunnigan, PhD. Their article, as does everything they have written and said for the past decades, supports the asbestos industry’s position that chrysotile asbestos can be safely used.

The editor in chief of Critical Reviews in Toxicology, Roger McClellan, told Bernstein that the article “should be a useful contribution to the literature” and that he looked forward to receiving further submissions from Bernstein. McClellan was previously Chief Scientist and then Director of the Chemical Industry Institute for Toxicology. He was paid $35,792.55 to testify on behalf of an asbestos company, Union Carbide. Continue reading

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“Complaint submitted to Editor of scientific publication regarding hidden asbestos industry ties” by Kathleen Ruff

Posted on November 26, 2013

Complaint submitted to Editor of scientific publication regarding hidden asbestos industry ties” by Kathleen Ruff

Scientists gave false information and failed to disclose their close ties to the asbestos industry

SOURCE: Right on Canada 

November 25, 2013

Roger McClellan
Editor in Chief, Critical Reviews in Toxicology

Dear Dr. McClellan,

We wish to make a complaint to you regarding the article, Health Risks of Chrysotile Revisited, which was published by Critical Reviews in Toxicology (Crit Rev Toxicol, 2013; 43(2): 154–183).

We believe the article violates ethical standards of disclosure that all scientists and scientific publications are expected to uphold. Below are details of what, in our judgment, constitute serious ethical violations.

1) The Declaration of Interests provided in the article states that the preparation of the article was supported by a grant from the International Chrysotile Association (ICA). This is a false statement. There was no grant from the ICA. The Treasurer and Director General of the ICA, Mr. Bob Pigg has confirmed that no ICA grant existed and that, in fact, Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Dunnigan billed the ICA on an hourly fee for service basis. Dr. Bernstein’s invoices amounted to $200,000 for his services and Dr. Dunnigan’s invoices amounted to $35,000. Continue reading

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“Scientists Who Help Asbestos Industry Sell Asbestos” by Kathleen Ruff

Kathleen RuffKathleen RuffSOURCE: Right on Canada 

Scientists who help asbestos industry sell asbestos

The asbestos industry has money. But money cannot buy scientific credibility

Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca, November 21, 2013

The asbestos industry will be holding a conference in New Delhi, India on December 3 & 4 to promote use of asbestos in India. The International Chrysotile Association (ICA), an organisation financed by the asbestos industry and which promotes the industry’s interests, is organizing the conference.

The ICA has now put on its website a list of its speakers and summaries of their pro-asbestos presentations.

The purpose of the conference and of the ICA is to promote continued use of chrysotile asbestos, particularly in India, the biggest importer of asbestos in the world. Scientists and health experts around the world have condemned the asbestos industry and its allies for disseminating deadly, deceptive misinformation that will cause disease and loss of life.

Many of the speakers have been paid by the asbestos industry for years to take part in activities and events to promote use of chrysotile asbestos, particularly in developing countries. They form a small, notorious group of asbestos industry allies.

David Bernstein, for example, has received millions of dollars from asbestos lobby organisations for research on rats which, according to Bernstein, shows that rats positively enjoy being exposed to chrysotile asbestos. A New York court recently concluded that a number of scientific articles published by Bernstein were not, in reality, independent science, but were controlled by the asbestos industry and constituted potential crime-fraud. Dr. Bagatin’s research has been financed by the asbestos industry in Brazil. Dr. Dunnigan is a former employee of the Chrysotile Institute, an asbestos lobby organisation in Canada. In 2012, Dr. Bernstein, Dr. Dunnigan, Dr. Bagatin and Dr. Hesterberg were all witnesses in front of the Supreme Court of Brazil to argue on behalf of the Brazilian asbestos lobby against a proposed ban on asbestos.

Dr. Kashansky is an employee of a Russian government institution and, not surprisingly, he promotes the position of his employer, the government of Russia. Russia is by far the biggest producer and exporter of asbestos in the world and the Russian government is determined to do whatever is necessary to protect the profits it makes by exporting vast amounts of asbestos. If Dr. Kashansky spoke up and opposed the Russian government’s pro-asbestos position, he would be committing career suicide or worse. Not a single scientist in Russia has dared to oppose their government’s pro-asbestos position.

The pro-asbestos views put forward by these scientists are rejected by independent scientists as having no credibility. Not a single reputable scientific body in the world supports their position.

But they are very popular with the asbestos industry, which has money to pay them to show up again and again at asbestos industry events, such as the one in India, to help sell asbestos or to defeat proposed bans on asbestos.

While the asbestos industry has money to defend its financial interest, those who will be harmed, as a result,  and who will die painful, unnecessary deaths from asbestos-related diseases, have no money to defend their interest, which is life itself.

==                                                                                                                        ==

SCIENTISTS SPEAKING AT ASBESTOS INDUSTRY CONFERENCE

01. BAGATIN, Dr. Ericson (Brazil)

02. BASANETS, Dr. Anzhela V. (Ukraine)

03. BERNSTEIN, Dr. David (Switzerland)

04. BOVORNKITTI, Dr. Somchai (Thailand)

05. DUNNIGAN, Dr. Jacques (Canada)

06. HANG, Dr. Le Thi (Vietnam)

07. HESTERBERG, Dr. Thomas W. (USA)

08. HOSKINS, Dr. John Anthony (UK)

09. KASHANSKY, Dr. Sergey Vladimirovich (Russia)

10. KITAMURA, Dr. Satoshi (Brazil)

11. NOLAN, Dr. Robert (USA)

12. TIWARI, Dr. Rajnarayan Ramshankar (India)

13. VISHVANATHAN, Mr. H. (India)

Kathleen Ruff, Global Asbestos Awareness Network (GBAN) Charter Member

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THE SILENT KILLER: A GUEST POST BY CORTNEY SEGMEN

THE SILENT KILLER: A GUEST POST BY CORTNEY SEGMEN

Originally published here.

There is no such thing as safe exposure to asbestos. Airborne exposure to these microscopic, fibrous minerals leads to asbestos-related cancers, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis, and results in death for an estimated 107,000 innocent individuals each year. The horrid truth is that all deaths and illnesses related to asbestos are entirely preventable, yet each day 30 Americans will die of an asbestos-related illness. The manufacturing, import and export, and use of asbestos in every day products continues, however, despite publication of scientific evidence that proves the life-terminating effects of the material.

Continue reading

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Protesters Stage ‘Die-In’ Over Asbestos Risk by Yvonne Waterman

Photo courtesy of Agence France-Presse

On Saturday 12th of October, 2013, thousands of protesters demonstrated in Paris, France, against the failure of the French authorities to make workplaces asbestos-free.

Coming from all over France, they marched together from the Montparnasse Tower, known for its repeated findings of asbestos dust exceeding allowable levels, to the Sorbonne University. Many widows headed the march, holding up photos of their husbands and loved ones. Placards reminded that asbestos crimes often go unpunished. At the Sorbonne University, the protesters staged a dramatic ‘die-in’, lying down on the street to symbolize the three thousand asbestos victims who die each year in France.

‘Montparnasse tower = danger’ and ‘Asbestos, punish the responsible ones’. AFP Photo / Jacques Demarthon

The National Association of Victims of Asbestos (ANDEVA), organising the protest march, stated that its purpose was to raise both public and political awareness that asbestos crimes continue to go unpunished. ANDEVA Vice-President Francois Desriaux: “It has been seventeen years since we submitted the first complaints, and there has still not been a criminal trial.” He pointed out that asbestos risks are still very much a present risk, not a matter of the past. Referring to the Montparnasse Tower, workplace of some five thousand employees, he said: “The Tour Montparnasse should have been ridden of its asbestos years ago, but between owners going round the rules and lax police who have looked the other way and allowed the work to be postponed, they are continuing to play with people’s lives.”

A year ago today, Linda Reinstein, Richard Lemen and I joined this march aimed at raising asbestos awareness. We were proud to do so. Viva ANDEVA!

To read ANDEVA’s 2012 conference article read here.

Yvonne Waterman, Sc.D. LL.M., GBAN Charter Member, The Netherlands

 

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