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TUCP, other groups to campaign for asbestos phase-out in PHL

November 14, 2012 2:56pm
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and more than 60 private and public groups have signed an agreement for the banning and phasing out of use of asbestos in the country.

According to the Associated Labor Unions-TUCP (ALU-TUCP), 61 leaders and representatives from union federations including ALU and Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) local affiliates; academe; urban poor groups; and workers’ organizations agreed to campaign for the total ban of asbestos and materials containing asbestos.

The labor groups also recently held a workshop on “shaping a new approach” towards this objective.

“We [were] expecting only 40 groups, but the turnout was more than that. Perhaps they saw the need to be involved in the campaign,” said ALU-TUCP national executive vice president and Ban Asbestos Philippines program coordinator Gerard Seno.

The ALU-TUCP campaign includes implementing the National Program for Elimination of Asbestos-Related Diseases (NPEAD) and lobbying for a national asbestos ban in the House of Representatives through TUCP Party-list Rep. Raymond Mendoza.

The government estimates that 1.3 million workers, mainly in the construction industry, are significantly exposed to asbestos dust every day.

According to the World Health Organization: "All types of asbestos cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, cancer of the larynx and ovary, and asbestosis (fibrosis of the lungs). Exposure to asbestos occurs through inhalation of fibers in air in the working environment, ambient air in the vicinity of point sources such as factories handling asbestos, or indoor air in housing and buildings containing friable (crumbly) asbestos materials. Currently about 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace." — BM, GMA News
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