Facing increasing pressure and the harsh reality of tragic mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease deaths in their country, the government of Colombia instituted a full ban on all use of asbestos. The battle had been waged for twelve years when the Latin American country’s House of Representatives voted unanimously to stop asbestos use, mining and export. The ban will take effect next year.
Colombia Sees 1,700 Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos Disease Deaths
Though many countries around the globe have curtailed their use of asbestos or imposed bans on its import or mining, Colombia is one of only seven that has decided to institute a full ban on all production, distribution and commercialization of the carcinogen, which is blamed for over 100,000 deaths per year worldwide and 1,700 Colombian residents over the last fifty years.
In the face of those tragedies, the loved ones of asbestos victims have lobbied strenuously for the country to take this bold and progressive step. Remarkably, similar efforts have been attepted for decades in the United States, but the power of the chemical industry and their lobbyists has been preventing a ban from taking place since the mid-1970s.
How Did Mesothelioma Advocates Succeed in Achieving an Asbestos Ban?
The same type of efforts that have worked against U.S. mesothelioma advocates were exercised in Colombia, with companies that make asbestos-contaminated products pushing back hard against the ban. But as more and more people were sickened by asbestos from the Eternit plants, the country became the site of protests and demonstrations, and those efforts received additional strength from the fate of a renowned journalist who died of mesothelioma in 2012.
When Ana Cecilia Nino was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma following years of environmental exposure from a nearby asbestos factory, she and her husband chose to use her public persona and platform to highlight the dangers of the carcinogenic product. They produced a documentary about asbestos’ dangers, and in her honor the country’s asbestos ban was named for her.
If you or someone you love has suffered as a result of asbestos exposure, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can provide you with valuable information about the resources available to you. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.