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23 Nov 2017

Environmental Defender Law Center

Asbestos Mine in India Contaminates Village

Throughout Europe, it is illegal to extract, manufacture, or use asbestos. Yet asbestos is still widely used across India, and is part of a huge industry dominated by companies that justify the use of asbestos for affordable roofing.

...In the Roro Hills... in eastern India, Hyderabad Asbestos Cement Products mined chrysotile asbestos... and milled it onsite. The mine was one of the largest asbestos mines in India, employing 1,500 workers, mostly tribal people. ...After twenty years of operations, asbestos mining was halted in 1983. The mine was abandoned, with hundreds of tons of asbestos waste left in and around the mine area. The company made no effort to remediate or take any safety measures to avoid future harms to human health or the environment. ...[T]he asbestos and asbestos waste piles have caused and continue to cause damage to human health.

... [T]he company continues to maintain that “This particular asbestos has not been known to give cancer, so far.”

... [A] landmark case [was filed] in 2014 on behalf of the victims, and the bulk of the evidence was filed with the court in 2016. This is the first case of its type filed before the National Green Tribunal ... in India asking for compensation for personal injury caused by toxic pollution.