Govt bans import, use of asbestosThe government has banned the import, purchase and use of carcinogenic mineral fibre asbestos, which is used as construction material
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE), as per the provision of Environment Protection Act 1997, published a notice in Nepal Gazette on Monday to ban the hazardous asbestos sheets and related products to protect human health as well as environment from harmful consequences due to its increasing use in the construction sector. This decision will automatically come into effect within 181 days after the date of notification.
A study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) has already identified that all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans and cause various other health implications. Over 40 countries have banned the import, export and use of the material within their territories.
Human health and environment were under high risk of getting impacted from these carcinogenic asbestos sheets used massively in many places in the country, especially in the Tarai region, according to the Centre for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED).
“Since last year, civil society and experts have been advocating to address the related public health and environmental problems possibly resulted from unscientific burying of asbestos wastes in Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu and its massive import and use in the Tarai region,” said Ram Charitra Sah, executive director at CEPHED. “Now we need effective implementation of this decision,” he said.