----- Original Message -----
From: AIA <>

Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 11:22 PM
Subject: Good News - Rotterdam Convention.

To: AIA Membership
ACPPA Membership
Other Interested Parties



Major news for the chrysotile industry:
Chrysotile fibre not included in the Rotterdam Convention Geneva, September 19, 2004 - This decision was made in Geneva yesterday. Numerous producing and consuming countries, opted against the inclusion of chrysotile fibre to the Prior Informed Consent Procedure of the Rotterdam Convention for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.

As the Chairman of the Asbestos International Institute, Mr. Clement Godbout, stated after the meetings in Geneva, this is a very important decision for the international chrysotile industry. "Finally, the world seems to differentiate the five types of asbestos: amosite, actinolite,antophyllite, tremolite, and chrysotile - the latter being the only fibre exploited and showing no unacceptable risk for human health when correctly used, contrary to the four other fibres", declared Mr Godbout who works to promote the responsible and safe use policy of this natural fibre that has unique qualities and is economical, compared to its substitutes.

"The refusal to include chrysotile to the PIC Procedure is also a great show of support by governments towards their populations in great need of infrastructures. By objecting to the inclusion of chrysotile, these numerous producing and consuming countries have indicated to the whole world that this natural fibre, can and is, being used safely and responsibly. In addition, they also demonstrate their intention of assuming a role as international leaders by offering a product which is safe, durable and comparatively inexpensive", to countries which have a great need, said Mr Godbout.

Chrysotile is the only type of asbestos commercially exploited. Recent studies involving laboratories in Switzerland, Germany and United States, headed by toxicologist Dr David Bernstein, confirms that the half-life (days necessary to eliminate half the fibres remaining in lungs after exposure) for chrysotile fibres is approximately 11 days. Half-life for cellulose fibres is 1 000 days and half-life for ceramic fibres is 60 days.

Chrysotile mining and milling facilities respect Convention 162, "Safety in the Use of Asbestos", of the International Labor Organization (ILO). In 1986, the ILO had recognised that regulations on asbestos must be based on scientific fact.

Again, this is good news and the unflagging and unqualified support of the numerous producing and consuming countries is gratefully acknowledged.

Clement Godbout, Chairman Asbestos International Association