Hearing held to reach conclusion on asbestos banning

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Sources: Krungthepturakij, Post Today, Khao Sod

Mr. Vithoon Simachokdee, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Industry disclosed that he assigned Department of Industrial of Works (DIW), to hold a big seminar that should be included all beneficial parties within 2-3 weeks before proposing to the cabinet.

Mr. Pongthep Jaruampornpan, deputy director-general, Department of Industrial Works (DIW) said the hearing is to be held on November 19, 2012. In addition, on November 14, T-Ban group went to DIW to follow up the progress of the banning plan and submitted a letter to show their intention to ban asbestos in Thailand.

DIW planned to present the drafted frame work of the ban within this October but there still were many against views from several sectors so MOI Perm Sec had a policy to arrange another public hearing seminar. He added that he was looking at any measurements to help consumers who would be impacted by the ban, in particular the substituted products may cause of price increase of general goods.

In the past DIW has held the hearing for 4 times but still had several arguments and could not reach to conclusion. He expected the final hearing should find out solutions from both sides. The cabinet has assigned MOI to study total impact to all beneficial groups and to propose a systematic and practical plan if we have to reduce or stop using the asbestos, he added.

DIW will listen and summarize all comments from the hearing to submit to the cabinet. Mr. Surachai Sutthitham, president of SAT mentions that he submitted a letter to the Ministry of Industry to protest against arranging of the chrysotile banning. According to Mr. Uran, chrysotile has been used in Thailand for over 70 years and there’s neither evidence nor research indicating that anyone has Chrysotile-related health problems. Dr. Jakkrit, researcher from SKU said that although chrysotile is believed to cause cancer, there has been no evidence. Moreover, substitutes are not yet proven safe. He also suggested that MoPHshould have more study on the impact of chrysotile.

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