Chrysotile use to be controlled

11:23 | 23/05/2016 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Aware that chrysotile may cause harmful effects on humans and the environment, the government decided to place the mineral under tight control.

Chrysotile use to be controlled

Chrysotile will be put under tight control

Rotterdam Convention neglects chrysotile

Since the 1960s chrysotile has been employed as material to manufacture heat resistant roofing sheets to be largely used in housing constructions in poor and remote areas, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong at a workshop to review the use and control of chrysotile in Vietnam organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Due to increased concerns over harmful effects from the use of amphibole, Vietnam has banned the import of this mineral while still allowing the import of chrysotile. However, the International Labor Organization and World Health Organization warned the world of the harmful effects of chrysotile, which has led to increased controls over the material.

At the 7th Rotterdam Convention Conference held in 2015, Vietnam suggested chrysotile be listed in the Rotterdam Convention Annex III as industrial chemicals banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons. However, the suggestion failed to attract attention from the majority and finally was refused.

Chrysotile to be banned from use by 2030

Prime Ministerial Decision 1469/QD-TTg to approve the Vietnam Building Materials Development Master Plan until 2020 with a Vision towards 2030 said that chrysotile use won’t be extended beyond 2020 and chrysotile alternatives will be developed along with the ban from use by 2030.

The Ministry of Science and Technology assigned the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Research Institute of Technology for Machinery to develop non-chrysotile roofing sheets in 2001. To date, the sheets which are manufactured on an industrial scale at the Hai Duong-based Tan Thuan Cuong JSC and Ho Chi Minh City-based Nam Viet JSC are welcomed domestically and exported to several markets like Egypt, India and the Republic of Korea.

Non-chrysotile roofing sheets are 15-30 percent more expensive than chrysotile roofing sheets of the same quality while meeting requirements for durability and safety, said Dr. Do Quoc Quang from the Research Institute of Technology for Machinery.

Once people know how harmful chrysotile may be they will discard the use of chrysotile roofing sheets and seek alternatives, said Dr. Vu The Long from the Evidence-based Health Policy Development Advocacy Coalition. 

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said, “Vietnam imports 50,000-60,000 tonnes of chrysotile annually to provide for 41 roofing sheet manufacturers who market 80-100 million square meters of chrysotile roofing sheets per annum.


Quynh Nga & Lan Anh