Asbestos in friction materials: What is the contribution to the general environment resulting from the use of asbestos in friction materials?

Asbestos has been an essential component of automotive friction materials for more than 70 years; and only chrysotile asbestos is used for industrial purpose. Its typical proportion ranges from 25% to 65% by weight. Chrysotile enforces strength, flexibility, heat resistance to brake linings, in addition to friction and wear properties.

Is the public at risk due to the weathering of chrysotile cement products?

Because of inherent properties of chrysotile fibre and cement, chrysotile cement sheets do not decay or rot. They do not crumble despite continued exposure to environmental elements or age. There is no evidence that people living under chrysotile cement roof, or the general public living around asbestos cement-roofed buildings or factories producing asbestos cement products have been specifically affected in any manner.

Does exposure to one single asbestos fibre lead to death?

Conducting an experiment to test this proposition is not feasible. It is virtually impossible to challenge cells, tissues or whole animals to one single fibre due to the ubiquity of asbestos fibres. One milligram of asbestos alone may contain several hundred million respirable fibres. Furthermore, experimental protocols call for a minimum dose of several hundred thousands of fibres in order to induce observable effects.

Is it dangerous to live or work under chrysotile cement roof?

There is no risk, whatsoever, for people who live or work under chrysotile cement roof. Chrysotile fibres are locked-in and bound with cement. It is not possible for the fibres to escape from the products into the ambient air.

Is chrysotile dangerous to workers and how?

Dusts or airborne fibres including glass fibre, synthetic fibre, chrysotile fibre, stone dust, gasoline fume, exhaust fume, all are dangerous, if workers inhale and are exposed to them for a long period of time. However, the processing of chrysotile fibre as a raw material in manufacturing factories is properly controlled and thus, poses no risks to workers. Once the fibres are covered by cementous slurry, they are locked-in permanently and cannot escape.

Why lobbying against an asbestos ban?

It is important to use solid science to guide our decisions in matters such as this. The chrysotile industry has a responsibility to promote its safe use.