Cambodian officials are now starting to try and bring awareness of the dangers of asbestos to the country and its people. This is very important due to the fact that the asbestos fiber is extremely dangerous and still heavily used in the Cambodian construction industry. The Labour Minister Ith Samheng in particular is working to have officials spread information about asbestos through the ministry’s Cambodian National Asbestos Profile pamphlet. In the pamphlet, information about the risks of asbestos exposure are and who is especially at risk for being exposed to asbestos.
Ith Samheng said at the launch of the booklet that, “[He is] glad to see that this booklet containing information about asbestos has been launched. We need to update it regularly and inform the public about steps being taken to address the problem.”
Although asbestos has been fully banned in many different countries, it is still heavily used in Cambodia. In particular, chrysotile asbestos are very popularly used. These asbestos are extremely useful for the construction industry, as the mineral is very strong and resistant to heat and flame. However, when the material eventually is damaged or eroded, the small asbestos fibers will go airborne and cause many health problems for whoever breathes them in.
In regards to the health problems this popular chrysotile asbestos can cause, Ith Samheng stated that, “Asbestos is very useful for industry, but exposure to chrysotile asbestos can also affect health. It can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, laryngeal cancer, pleural effusions, pleural plaques and thickening and atelectasis. In order to prevent these risks, I want the working group to list down the dangers posed by asbestos and educate the public about them.”
If this pamphlet is successfully spread throughout Cambodia, the awareness of the dangers of asbestos will rise. This will hopefully help prevent some of the asbestos related diseases that the Cambodians are subjected to.