17 January, 2021

The Silicate Murderees

A proposed asbestos unit faces spirited opposition

AFP (From Outlook, May 16, 2011)
The Silicate Murderees

Serving Krishna Poison

  • Proposal to set up an 1.8 lakh tonne per annum asbestos making unit in Andhra’s Krishna district (its third, if it comes up) attracts widespread criticism
  • Asbestos is carcinogenic
  • Fifty-five countries have banned its mining and use
  • India has been phasing out asbestos mining since 1986


It was called a magic mineral till it was found to be carcinogenic. Asbestos, which is used mostly in the construction industry and is known for its durable, fire-resistant quality and cheap price, is now primarily associated with lung cancer, mesothelioma (cancer that develops from the protective lining covering internal organs) and ‘asbestosis’. Such is its toxicity as a human carcinogen that 55 nations have banned its mining and usage entirely. India, however, continues to use it in various sectors despite its proven threat.

The gamut of emotions and issues involved in the use of...



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