Why do businesses not use substitute fibres of chrysotile in AC roof sheet production?

On February 9, 2021, the Decree on managing building materials, which includes the use of chrysotile in serpentine group, was promulgated by the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

In order to manage building materials efficiently, the Government has recently promulgated the Decree no. 09/2021/ND-CP on the management of building materials. In terms of using and controlling the quality of building materials, Article 8 of Chapter III specified the regulations for using chrysotile in building material production. Accordingly, factories are just permitted to use chrysotile in serpentine group. They must maintain the safe concentration threshold of chrysotile, offer effective approaches for waste treatment and follow requirements of hygiene, labor safety and environment protection.

In particular, the Decree encouraged using the various substitutes for chrysotile in AC roof sheet production. A roadmap to limit new investment or expansion of chrysotile-cement roofing sheet facilities has also been proposed.

Tam Lop Amiang Xi Mang

However, it is infeasible to apply substitutes in practical use. Since 2000s, a number of studies on substitute fibres have been conducted. Nevertheless, no natural or synthetic fibres possesses such superior properties as chrysotile. In addition to concerns of durability, substitute products have higher productio costs and price. Factors regarding the cost of changing production line and health problem also require more researches, as well as clarification.

In the past, two Vietnamese enterprises of Navifico and Tan Thuan Cuong have tried manufacturing PVA-containing roofing sheet. Unfortunately, the final product is so expensive and low-quality. This forced Navifico to stop their operation while Tan Thuan Cuong must switch to chrysotile-containing roofing sheet.

Therefore, AC roof sheet factories see no possibility with substitutes. At the same time, during over 100 years of use and nearly 60 years of production in Vietnam, the conditional use of chrysotile still shows its safety. In fact, international and domestic researches of the MoH and the Construction Hospital confirmed there have been no cases of chrysotile-related cancer. These were conducted on workers and consumers of chrysotile-containing roofing sheet. The topics related to the use of chrysotile have currently attracted lots of attention of professionals with various researches at highest level.