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Supreme Court prohibits asbestos (chrysotile variety) production in Brazil

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On day after Eternit announced the suspension of asbestos-based products from 2019, the Federal Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday (Nov.29) to prohibit the extraction, marketing and distribution of asbestos (chrysotile variety) throughout the country.

Brazil, the world’s third largest asbestos producer, and a major exporter and consumer, had not yet placed a total ban on the use of this insulating material once considered a “miracle product” but now recognised as carcinogenic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Asbestos is totally banned in almost 70 countries. In Brazil, eight federal states out of 27 (including the Federal District) ,  voted to ban it  and adopted prohibitive measures in the interest of protecting public health.

But up the Supreme Court decision , Brazil’s  law continued to permit the extraction, use and commercialisation of Chrysotile (white asbestos) at national level.