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Asbestos News

India's Supreme Court bars importation of asbestos-containing ships
India's Supreme Court bars importation of asbestos-containing ships
In what appears to be another step toward preventing asbestos-related deaths, India's Supreme Court ruled recently that the country can no longer accept end-of-life ships containing asbestos or other toxic substances from countries like the U.S. and Europe.

According to a release from the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, the Court was facing a petition from the Indian-based ToxicsWatch Alliance. The ruling calls for the observation of Basel Convention rules, which means India must now be first notified about all hazardous materials onboard the vessels it receives before the importation can be approved.

"Finally, the Supreme Court in India has dragged its government to face the fact that India for a long time has been violating international law with respect to its uncontrolled imports of toxic ships for scrapping on its beaches. It will no longer be able to do so," Basel Action Network director Jim Puckett said in a statement.

According to the release, the United Nations Basel Convention is an international law that was enacted in 1989 and designed to prevent the dumping of hazardous materials on developing countries.

The risks of asbestos are well-known across the globe, as the inhalation of the carcinogenic mineral fibers has been proven to cause asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma, a rare cancer. 
8/15/12

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