Nearly 60 years of production and use safely in Vietnam
In around 100 years of use and 60 years of production in Vietnam, fibre cement products have become popular with people due to affordable price and superior durability. Today, solid AC roof sheet with decades of service life can be easily found across Vietnam. Despite being covered with moss, the products are still used for house, farm, auxiliary works and storeroom.
The industry of fibre cement was formed in 1963 with 02 factories of Dong Nai and Navifico. The Hatschek technology or wet technology has been used widely. With the development of science and technology, companies have improved their production line with high automation to increase productivity, protect the environment and health of employees.
Through scientific researches of reputable organisations such as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Health, the Construction Hospital, the Vietnam Institute for Building Materials and 57 years of production and use in Vietnam, fibre cement products have been claimed to be safe.
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Luong Duc Long – Former Director of Vietnam Institute for Building Materials said: “Chrysotile fibre is very porous, which help cement particles to easily absorb into. After a period of production and use, if there are debris or dust from the products, it is cement dust containing a small part of fibre. We have directly examined with electron microscopy and applied various methods of analysis. It can be seen that there is no concern to use or live under AC roof sheet.”
There is no need to label a warning on fibre cement products
The industry of fibre cement product is allowed to develop under the Law on Investment, the Law on Chemical, the Law on Technology Transfer, the Strategy to develop building materials in Vietnam for the period of 2020 – 2030, with a vision towards 2050 and the Law on Environmental Protection.
Regarding the labeling on product, the Vietnamese Government does not stipulate that chrysotile-containing products must have a warning. In the Circular no.36/2015/TT-BTNMT “On hazardous waste” under the Decree no.38/2015/ND-CP dated April 24 of 2015 of the Government on waste and scrap management also specifies the waste of fibre cement products such as AC roof sheet are not hazardous.
The regulation is consistent with that of other countries around the world. Mr. Ngo Vinh Bach Duong – Institute of State and Law shared: “Through surveying the law of countries, we see the labeling a warning on fibre cement products are not necessary if chrysotile fibres are pressed tightly in natural and man-made adhesives or limited with less than 1 percent by weight.”
According to Mr. Duong, developed countries such as the Russia, the US, China and other Southest Asian or CIS countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Armenia, Ajerbaijan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan do not require a warning label on these products. Many countries do not consider them as a kind of hazardous waste.
At the seminar, a number of experts argeed that a warning label is unecessary for fibre cement products. Instead, the State should create a stable legal framework and workable competitiveness for businesses to improve product quality, implement diversification to bring more choices for the market.