Justinian C. Lane, Esq.
Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens May Fall
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Justinian Lane's Blog

Justinian's Blog

Got Asbestosis?

Apparently, low-wage workers in India do:

"The dangers faced by the 5,000 workers at the yard on the shores of the Gulf of Cambay in the western state of Gujarat were spotlighted in February when protests by environmental groups forced the French and Indian governments to call off plans for the decommissioned French aircraft carrier Clemenceau to be broken up at Alang.

The environmentalists said the ship was filled with up to 1,000 tons of asbestos, along with other toxic waste.

The expert committee, appointed by the Supreme Court during the controversy over the Clemenceau, found 16 percent of the workers at Alang suffer from an early stage of asbestosis — an irreversible lung condition that could lead to lung cancer, according to the Indian Express, which obtained a copy of the unpublished report.

The Gujarat Maritime Board, which oversees Alang, has told Greenpeace that 372 workers have died there since the ship-breaking industry first was developed in 1982."

India's culture differs from America's in many ways.  One trait that apparently crosses culture lines is greed:  Just as American companies knowingly let workers contract asbestos-related illnesses in order to make a few bucks, so too are Indian companies. 

Isn't it tragic that even today, workers are dying from asbestos exposure?  And isn't it disgusting that groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are more upset about the deaths of the companies that knowingly exposed their workers to asbestos without providing proper protection to them?

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