POB 1483, Baltimore, MD 21203-1483, 410-243-5864
WLA Home
Asbestos Watch
British Asbestos
News from India
Legal Information
News Reports
Paul Safchuck's Alerts
Jim Fite's Alerts
WLA Alerts & News
World Trade Center Health

Judge Rejects Criminal Complaint by Eternit Against Inspector

The Company Requested a Conviction of Engineer Fernanda Giannasi for Defamation

The White Lung Association is happy to announce that Inspector Fernanda Giannasi has had the legal attack from the Eternit rejected by Brazilian Courts. The WLA joined with scientists and occupational health experts from all over the world to protest the unjust persecution of Ms. Giannaso by the multi-national asbestos giant.

Following is the translation from O Estado de Sao Paulo,
January 23, 1999

Headline: Judge Rejects Criminal Complaint by Eternit Against Inspector: The Company Requested a Conviction of Engineer Fernanda Giannasi for Defamation

by Arnaldo Galvao

The judge of the Second Criminal District of the Pinheiros Forum (Sao Paulo city) rejected the criminal complaint filed by Eternit against Fernanda Giannasi, an engineer and inspector of the Ministry of Labor. The company had brought the complaint for the crime of defamation because she had claimed in writings on the Internet and in interviews that Eternit constituted part of an "asbestos mafia" which was "co-opting public officials" and carrying out "blackmail" and "misleading propaganda."

The inspector asserted that ex-employees were being pressured to sign agreeements with Eternit which obliged them to give up the right to sue the company for liability in the future for health damages. The inhalation of asbestos for a long time can cause pulmonary fibrosis and cancer.

Eternit has already had more than 300 agreements approved by the courts which stipulate that former employees will receive between US$5,000 to US$15,000 for having been exposed to asbestos, and will be guaranteed medical treatment for the rest of their lives.

Fernando Castelo Branco, the attorney for Eternit, said that he is waiting to see the publication of the full text of the decision in the Official Diary of the State [of Sao Paulo] in order to decide, together with management, the company's next judicial initiative. "We may appeal this decision, which we consider to be wrong, or ask to be reimbursed for losses and damages, since the image of the company is being affected by the words
of the engineer," said the attorney.

The Press Relations office of Eternit issued a statement which noted that "despite its well-known reputation in the asbestos-cement sector and the fact that the company meets all the legal requirements for the exercise of its activities, the firm has been the target of constant, unfounded criticism on the part of persons who cite facts which are offensive to its reputation, with an undoubted intention to defame."

Eternit controls the Sama-Mineracao de Amianto S.A., [Sama Asbestos Mining, Inc.] which employes 610 workers in Minacu, Goais state. Its activities are also responsible for approximately 300 secondary jobs. According to the company press relations office, a tripartite agreement, signed by the company, the labor union, and the federal government specifies even stricter rules than those required under government legislation for the use
of asbestos.

The law sets a limit of two asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter of air in the work environment, but the agreement reduced the allowable limit to 0.8 fibers. The employees can stop production if they are now guaranteed a safe environment.

Antonio Luiz Aulicino, president of Eternit [do Brasil], points out that Sama is the first asbestos mine in the world to optain the ISO 14001 certificate for environmental management.

In order to earn this certificate of environmental management, the company's Sama mine in Minacu replanted 150,000 square meters of vegetation and maintains a nursery of 30,000 young trees for replanting. The company is also responsible for Project Quelonios, which raises turtles for environmental education and study in the community.


Front Page, Week Of:

4/16/05: Spectre to Introduce U.S. Asbestos Bill This Week

5/22/05: Individuals Injured by Asbestos Exposure Oppose Specter's Trust Fund Legislation

10/16/05: Victim's Organizations Form Asbestos Victims Coalition in Opposition to Asbestos Trust Fund Legislation

11/17/05: White Lung Mourns Jose Jesus Pessora

12/18/05: Frist Introducing Asbestos Bill in January

12/04/06: Asbestos Watch Newsletter: Help Celebrate the 27th Anniversary of the WHITE LUNG ASSOCIATION

Jim Fite's Alerts:

Asbestos Victim's Superfund Compensation Program

Asbestos Watch March 14, 2005 (Maryland chapter of the White Lung Association meetings)

Directorate of Safety, Health, and Environment (open letter)


Joe Oliver's Alerts:

Joe Oliver, National Board Member and former President of the White Lung Association, has issued a call to all persons to help gather evidence on the conspiracy by asbestos trade organizations to suppress the knowledge about the hazards of asbestos exposure.

If you know anything about this horrific history or have documents which can be used to further prove their heinous crimes, please contact Joe Oliver, WLA, POB 1483, Balt. MD 21203.

Leonard Makowski's Alerts:

The White Lung Association stands in opposition to The Specter Bill (S.852)

WLA Alerts & News

S.1115: Bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to reduce the health risks posed by asbestos-containing products - This bill is supported by the WLA.

Meet Mr. Asbestos

Proceedings of the Asbestos Symposium for the Asian Countries - now available for purchase.

Australia Bans Asbestos!



Senator Specter Breaks Promise to Mesothelioma Patient and Research Community

Senate Judiciary Committee returns to Mark-Up on May 11th: Proposed asbestos trust fund legislation will further penalize victims of asbestos-caused diseases


World Trade Center Health:

In May 2003, the Global Environment & Technology Foundation developed the "Asbestos Strategies" report.

British Asbestos Newsletter:

The latest issue is Spring 2005


News from India:

The latest issue is January 4, 2007



December 17, 2000 is Asbestos Hazard Awareness Day


Current Projects:

Asbestos Museum


Articles & Publications:

Occupational Respiratory Diseases: Asbestos Associated Disease -- Reprinted from: Maxcy-Rosenau Public Health and Preventative Medicine 11th ed. (John M. Last, Ed.) 1980, Appleton-Century-Crofts

Asbestos Victims Deserve Compensation Not Betrayal: position release by the Board of Directors, White Lung Association



In Memoria:

Paul Safchuck May 21, 2003

Dr. William Nicholson Dies at 70

Ray Sentes Brave Fighter For Asbestos Victims

For more information please contact info whitelung org.