Thailand Struggles in the Fight Against Asbestos

Thailand has a horrifying asbestos epidemic that cannot afford to be ignored. Recent studies have said that half of the Thailand population has traces of asbestos in their lungs, the youngest reported to be age 2. Caused by the lack of federal limitations or bans, the use of asbestos is still rampant across the country. Chrysotile asbestos is still used in Thailand for industrial purposes such as cement and automobile brakes. Despite their extensive use of asbestos, reportedly 60,000 to 180,000 metric tons, they have no way to track these cases since there is no national database for them. About 60 countries have banned the use of asbestos but Thailand is not counted among them despite 48.5% of their population having been influenced by it. They had only small amounts found in their bodies but any amount of asbestos in the human body can cause terrible consequences. Although  most terrible ailments such as mesothelioma are rare and only typically occur in an occupational setting, the still can negatively affect your body’s ability to take care of itself. An official said, “We want people to know that asbestos will remain in the human lung for a long period of time. And we’ve seen mesothelioma in people who are not exposed to high levels of asbestos.” They want people to be wary of the substance. This is especially due to the fact that they have especially high rates of use because it is so easy to obtain. “The banning of asbestos in our country is not possible now due to the cost effectiveness of substitute material. But the risk of asbestos disease will not decrease if all asbestos containing products are not totally replaced. Finding an asbestos substitute material is important.” To emphasize just how prevalent the fibrous material is, they found that traces were found in people who were not in non occupational settings such as students, salesmen, government officials, and housewives.

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