The Taipei Declaration for a Global Asbestos Ban (May 15, 2009)
In light of the global asbestos epidemic, it is necessary to ensure that everyone has the right to be free from the risk of asbestos exposure for health and well-being. More than 200 participants from six countries attended the International Conference on Industrial Risks, Labor and Public Health: An Interdisciplinary Analysis by Social Sciences and Epidemiology in Taipei. The participants have discussed and realized that a ban on the production, manufacture and use of asbestos is necessary to ensure the health of workers and the general public around the world. The following signatory participants were in agreement about the urgent need for action on the following points:
1. All countries should immediately ban the trade, import, production, manufacture, and use of products containing all types of asbestos, including chrysotile.
2. All countries should adopt policies encouraging the use of asbestos substitutes including favorable import tax schedules and subsidies for competitive technologies under the precautionary principle.
3. All countries should strengthen capacities for early diagnosis, treatment, social and medical rehabilitation of asbestos-related diseases; establish protocols for the surveillance, reporting and registering of people with past and/or current exposures to asbestos; ensure proper health care, compensation, and empowerment for the victims of asbestos-related diseases; adopt and apply very strict rules in the management of asbestos containing products and wastes.
4. To achieve a global asbestos ban, a strong public sector with commitment, capability, and resources is required to partner (and/or collaborate) with asbestos victims and their families, academia, environmental activists, trade unionists, health and safety specialists, and international agencies.
5. All countries and international agencies should establish national and global networks to monitor the health impact of asbestos and to evaluate the process of the global asbestos ban.