International Asbestos Conference
The White Lung Association supports the International Asbestos Conference organized by the British Asbestos Network and the International Ban Secretariat. The board of directors recently passed resolutions dedicating papers and participants to this important event. WLA members should contact Jim Fite at 4608 Walther, Baltimore, MD 21214 if they want to participate in this conference with the WLA delegation.
PRELIMINARY NOTIFICATION - CALL FOR PAPERS
As we embark upon the new century, asbestos continues to cause death and disease to millions world-wide. The objective of this international conference is to examine national experiences, identify problems, discuss responses and pinpoint effective solutions. By bringing together people whose lives have been affected by asbestos, we hope to provide an open forum for asbestos victims, their curers, politicians, social activists, medical professionals, government officials, environmentalists, civil servants, health and safety practitioners, academics, social workers, artisans, building workers and other interested parties.
Delegates from developed and developing countries will enjoy the opportunity to discuss their personal and professional experiences. Workshops and panels will facilitate the exchange of information in smaller sessions; poster presentations will offer the chance for input on other aspects. The free exchange of information amongst representatives from diverse geographical regions and across disciplinary boundaries will lead to a strengthening of resolve and solidarity. Vital channels of communication will be established through which information on new initiatives and research can flow.
The conference will take place in Osasco, a city 20 kilometers from Sao Paulo between September 15-20, 2000. Osasco has been chosen as it was for generations the centre of the country's asbestos cement industry. For fifty-four years, asbestos cement goods were manufactured at Eternit's Osasco factories; for fifty years asbestos-containing brake systems were made locally. ABREA, the Brazilian asbestos victims group, has its headquarters in this city. Press conferences will be organised to heighten domestic awareness of the on-going problems. Brazilian asbestos victims and their families will join delegates in a protest march in memory of thousands of Brazilian asbestos fatalities. Social activists will be able to attend an additional two days of meetings after the three day main event is over.
The conference will be organised by ABREA, The Ban Asbestos Network and the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS). Funding will be sought from trade unions and international agencies. The possibility of commercial sponsorship exists but will need to be discussed as will the potential for charging an attendance fee to professional delegates: i.e. lawyers, doctors, etc. Entry to the conference should be free to delegates unable to pay. There is also the possibility of charging commercial firms for the hire of display booths or tables at the conference venue. Companies such as those which sell RPE or provide asbestos awareness training may be interested. Perhaps publishers of asbestos books, health and safety journals and magazines would be interested in commercial participation. A photographic exhibition, asbestos videos, posters and other visual aids should be collected for display purposes in the conference centre. Sales of these items might be possible.
Translation facilities will be available for the following languages: Portuguese, English and xx. Delegates will be encouraged to make their presentations and submissions available electronically; these could be displayed on the IBAS website. Alternatively or additionally the papers could be collected and issued as the: Osasco Asbestos Conference Proceedings; payment for this book could be made to the organisers.
The widest participation will be encouraged at the poster sessions; oral presentations will be limited to invited speakers. Calls for papers, poster presentations and discussion groups will be made. Trade unions, international organisations, health and safety journals (such as WHIN, Hazards, etc.) will be asked to mention the conference in their publications. Articles could be written about the conference for publication by: Mealey's Asbestos Litigator, UK Health and Safety Journals, etc. Some possible categories of panels and presentations are listed in the sections which follow:
5. Background: History of Use and Knowledge
For additional information about the conference,