Thailand: Understanding 21st Century Science in Support of the Correct use of Chrysotile
BANGKOK, Thailand and LONDON, England, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chrysotile Institute will present today research demonstrating that the responsible use of chrysotile (White asbestos) is far safer than the other asbestos fibres (amphibole asbestos).
Chrysotile, which is the sole fibre present in 90% of "asbestos-containing" materials worldwide, is often confused with the harmful amphibole fibres due to the fact that the trade name "asbestos" has been used indiscriminately to describe them both. This has resulted in crippling regulations costing businesses billions of dollars.
Vested interests in the anti-asbestos lobby have deliberately used outdated science and confusion between the different fibres to advocate for a total ban on all asbestos products (including chrysotile products) which was brought about by the EU in January 2005.
Professor John Bridle, Chief inspector of the UK Asbestos Watchdog, will highlight cases in the United Kingdom where a combination of "bad science, bad regulation and a campaign of demonisation" has resulted in bankruptcies and a climate of fear about products and materials that present "no measurable risk to health".
Professor Bridle will detail his work with the UK Government to try and help British businesses and homeowners who are suffering from over-zealous implementation of bad regulations, based on outdated science.
Professor Bridle will say: "Chrysotile products present no measurable risk to health under any conditions used today. The great asbestos scam is based on deliberate confusion between harmful raw amphiboles fibres and products made from the Chrysotile with no measurable risk"
New data and recent scientific findings on chrysotile will be presented by Professor Dr David Bernstein, a Swiss Consultant in Toxicology, who has performed numerous studies involving the assessment of fibre toxicology over the past 35 years.
"Treating chrysotile on the same basis as amphiboles is not supported by science. There is need for education, but above all to provide a properly responsible approach on minimizing exposure when working with any mineral dust including chrysotile and manage the errors of past related to amphibole's (blue asbestos)" added Dr. Bernstein.
Both speakers will stress the importance of educating the public about the true risks of the various asbestos fibres and the economic impacts of current misunderstandings.
Notes to Editors:
Chrysotile (white asbestos) is a naturally occurring mineral which is widely used world-wide. Chrysotile is often confused with amphibole fibres creating a climate of fear around products which present no measurable risk to health. This fear stems from the dangerous effects of the 'amphibole family' of asbestos fibres.
Chrysotile is the same mineral as talcum powder.
The new scientific research presented in Thailand focuses on the responsible use of chrysotile. Recent scientific data clearly demonstrates that chrysotile, as used today, presents no measurable risk to human health.
Chrysotile is produced in 25 countries, including Canada, Russia, China, Brazil and Kazakhstan, and is widely used in building materials, including concrete water pipes. Numerous studies have concluded that chrysotile present in building materials is innocuous if left undisturbed.
The word "asbestos" is generic and commercial; it encompasses two very different families of fibrous silicates: the serpentine (white asbestos or chrysotile) and the amphiboles. Various risk assessments carried over many years of investigation between the two asbestos families confirm that the risk associated with the use of chrysotile is quite different from that of amphibole. Amphibole minerals produce more disease than chrysotile asbestos when the fibres are used in the same way - yet European regulators treat the substances in the same way.
Prof. David Bernstein
Dr. Bernstein has over 35 years of experience as an inhalation toxicologist providing a broad range of expertise to governments and pharmaceutical, chemical and fibre companies worldwide. With his initial education in solid state physics, his emphasis in toxicology during and following his doctorate shifted towards inhalation toxicology. Being at ease in the mathematics of fluids, aerosols and animal physiology, Dr. Bernstein designed new aerosol generation and exposure systems for performing inhalation toxicology studies.
As manager and director of Battelle Geneva and RCC Geneva, he was responsible for the conduct, GLP compliance and interpretation of hundreds of inhalation toxicology studies of pharmaceuticals, chemicals and fibres. More recently, he has been working as an independent consultant advising governments on the scientific basis for the regulatory assessment of products and serving as an expert to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries in inhalation toxicology with strong emphasis on regulatory requirements.
Throughout his career, Dr. Bernstein has been involved in the design and evaluation of fibre toxicology studies and has been instrumental in developing many of the concepts and regulations which define fibre toxicology. He has authored over 65 scientific publications in addition to chapters in toxicology textbooks and numerous presentations and reports. He has also served as an expert panel member for international agencies and governments including the USEPA and the WHO's recent assessment of synthetic vitreous fibres.
Prof. John Bridle
Professor Bridle is Chief Inspector of the UK Asbestos Watchdog. His experience stretches across a wide range of asbestos related problems and he has recently been awarded a prestigious honorary degree in 'Asbestos Sciences' by the Russian Institute of Occupational Health. His new professorship makes him the foremost authority on asbestos science in the world.
He has lectured all over the world to governments on the economics of banning asbestos, including briefing MPs and members of the British House of Lords for debates. He has saved businesses and organizations many millions of pounds by the correct application of the new asbestos regulations.
Professor Bridle's experience and knowledge of asbestos has been sought by the UK Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency. He also acts as a consultant for a number of leading multi-national companies as well as law firms and many small businesses. Domestic property owners have also appreciated the free advice he has given them through Asbestos Watchdog.
For further information:
SOURCE The Chrysotile Institute
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