The Ministries of Health, and Science and Technology, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), have held a scientific seminar on asbestos, a kind of mineral used in construction, and its deadly impact on workers’ lives.

The seminar aimed at updating and sharing information about asbestos-related diseases in the world.

Addressing the event in Hanoi on July 17, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said that WHO and international cancer research agencies have warned that all types of asbestos can cause lung, larynx and ovary cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis.

According to WHO estimates, currently about 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace and more than 107,000 people die each year from asbestos-related diseases resulting from occupational exposures. One in every three deaths from occupational cancer is estimated to be caused by this toxic mineral.

Vietnam is now among the world’s 10 largest users of asbestos with the import of about 60,000 tonnes every year, of which 95 percent are used for production of roofing sheets.

The Health Ministry has taken a number of measures to ensure the health of workers and on how to prevent asbestos-related diseases.

The WHO and International Labour Organisation recommend that a total ban of using asbestos be the most effective way to eliminate diseases relating to this mineral.-VNA