Roof Tile Producer in Thailand Fights for Continued Asbestos Use in Products

Oran Vanich manufactures roofing tiles in Thailand. The company has recently opposed a proposed ban on the use of asbestos in roof tiles that the country's National Economic and Social Advisory Council (NESAC) and the Health Assembly have proposed to the Industry Ministry.

Uran Kleosakul, a marketing manager at the company, defended the continued use of asbestos on economic grounds. Of Thailand's four roofing tile manufacturers, only one makes them without asbestos. Kleosakul claims that a ban would harm the other three as they do not have the facilities or capital to make the tiles without asbestos.

If the government decides to ban asbestos, many makers including Oran Vanich will close their plants and 5,000-6,000 workers will lose their jobs, he said to The Nation.

While his statement on ban's economic impact may correct, he denies proven facts about asbestos exposure.

If people inhale chrysotile, the material will be discharged from the lungs within 14 days, while pulp and PVA (alternate materials) will stay for 1,000 days, he said.

"So far, there are no scientific findings that prove that Thais who have died from mesothelioma died from a disease caused by asbestos. So why do we have to change to benefit the minority, and force most Thais who are poor to use the expensive products?" he said.

Asbestos building materials like roofing tiles can release fibers and dust into the air when disturbed. When inhaled, exposure to asbestos can lead to a number of health problems. These include asbestosis and the following cancers: mesothelioma, lung, esophageal, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and pharyngeal.

Often modern roofers are not taught the proper safety procedures or given the required equipment to protect themselves from the dangers of asbestos.

It is recommended that people who have spent a significant period of time working as a roofer get a full physical evaluation by a medical doctor. Mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure, often takes 15-45 years to manifest and the life expectancy of a victim is around a year post-diagnosis. Thus, it is important to catch the disease in its early stages.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and believe you were exposed to asbestos as a roofer, you may be entitled to financial compensation from a mesothelioma settlement. To learn more about your legal options and mesothelioma lawyers, please contact us for a free legal consultation.

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Sokolove Law Team

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Last modified: October 4, 2017