The decision was taken at a meeting of states that have ratified the Rotterdam Convention despite the treaty's scientific review body having recommended the inclusion of "white" asbestos on health grounds, a U.N. spokesman said.
"Several countries declared in plenary problems they had with the inclusion of chrysotile (asbestos), including
Canada, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Vietnam," U.N. spokesman Michael Stanley-Jones told a news briefing in . Geneva
"That chemical will come before the next conference of the
parties in 2013," the spokesman said. Rotterdam
Endosulfan, a pesticide banned in many states but still used in many tropical countries on crops including coffee and tea, was added by consensus, he said. So were two other pesticides, alachlor and aldicarb, bringing the total list to 43 substances.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in his successful campaign for the May 2 general election, sought votes in
and defended one of the province's most controversial exports -- asbestos. Quebec
Health and public safety groups had been pressuring the federal and
governments to halt exports of asbestos, a fire-retardant mineral used in construction that is linked to deadly lung diseases, including cancer. Quebec
's chrysotile asbestos industry say that this form of the mineral is safe to handle as long as proper guidelines are followed. Quebec
Critics have been particularly concerned about exports to developing countries that lack the safeguards to ensure asbestos is used safely, endangering the lives of both workers using the material and the general public.
. By Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Elizabeth Piper Canada
Friday, 24 June 2011