There should be more thorough studies on other substitute products

(People’s Deputies Online Newspaper) In the afternoon of October 10, under the chairing of Deputy Minister – Mr. Bui The Duy, the Ministry of Science and Technology held a regular press conference for the third quarter with important contents, including the assessment of whether or not there are the harmful effects of chrysotile in roof sheets.

Enterprises stopped the test on non-chrysotile roof sheet

Enterprises stopped testing non-chrysotile roof sheet.

At the beginning of the press conference, the “heat” of chrysotile created the excitement in the whole hall when the reporters asked that there is any scientific research on the dangers of chrysotile on the health of workers and users conduct by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Besides, the Ministry also clarified why the two enterprises participating in the research of the non-chrysotile roof sheet has stopped their test production?

Regarding the issue, the Head of Department of Science and Technology of Economic – Technical Fields, Ministry of Science and Technology – Mr. Vu Dinh Hau said: The Government is directing the relevant ministries, especially the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Construction. In the Official Dispatch No. 7307/VPCP-KGVX, the Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Health to study the effects of chrysotile on human health, the Ministry of Construction to be in charge of operating the system of chrysotile production enterprises. Ministry of Science and Technology has conducted researches on substitute materials since 2004. The Ministry tested at two businesses and achieved initial success. However, Mr. Hau acknowledged that both businesses that were testing non-chrysotile roof sheet had to stop their production due to the higher cost of 20-40 percent compared to chrysotile.

Deputy Minister Bui The Duy affirmed that Ministry of Science and Technology put human health first. Therefore, the Ministry will continue to coordinate with ministries, branches and Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology to study other substitute products which are more affordable not only for Vietnam but also for the whole world.

Thorough consideration on the legal basis is necessary

On August 2nd, the Chairman of the Committee on Science, Technology and Environment – Phan Xuan Dung signed Official Dispatch No. 1441 “on the use of chrysotile in Vietnam” sent to the Government Office and Ministries, which clearly stated: A number of agencies, organizations and individuals continuously had untrue opinions, even criticism of individuals. Committee on Science, Technology and Environment proposed the ministries to research more to prove whether there are the harmfulness of chrysotile on the health of workers and consumers; clarify why most countries still use chrysotile, including populous countries such as China, India, Russia …; countries with high technology in the world such as the US, Russia …; countries in ASEAN region.

The Committee on Science, Technology and Environment also noted that the research must be honest and public in the community, especially for people using AC roof sheet. In particular, if there is a proposal for the ban of chrysotile in the upcoming time, it is necessary to consider thoroughly. It must be based on the international treaties, current laws and the actual effects of chrysotile on human health, not for any reason other than human health, economic development and stability of the country. In addition, the Dispatch also recommended the media to propagate objectively so that people can understand the true nature, avoid excessive propaganda that confuses the public, affects the economy and social situation.

In the report of the fieldtrip on the experience of management and safe use of chrysotile of Russia which Deputy Minister of Construction – Nguyen Van Sinh as the Head of the delegation with the participation of representatives of the relevant ministries and departments in June also stated that the Institute of Scientific Research and Medicine of Ekaterinburg City has made many research on 30 chrysotile production facilities with more than 75 thousand workers in mines, production areas and under the roof of chrysotile-cement sheets for more than 90 years. The result indicates that their health is still in good condition. These studies also confirm that chrysotile does not affect human health if used in controlled manner.

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