Rapidly developing nations such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China could be facing an impending health crisis soon due to the continuing production and use of asbestos.
In 2016, the aforementioned countries accounted for approximately 80% of the global asbestos consumption. The largest producer of asbestos worldwide is Russia. Russia alone produces more than half of the asbestos consumed worldwide.
With increased mining and exposure to asbestos in these developing countries, people living in these areas will most likely see an increase in asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma and asbestosis in the years to come.
Asbestos-related illnesses typically have a latency period of decades; by the time they realize the harm being done to their countries, millions of people will have been exposed.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the World Health Assembly, and the American Public Health Association, among others, have been working tirelessly for a total ban on asbestos use for about 15 years.
Despite efforts, WHO estimates that 125 million people around the globe have been exposed to asbestos at work. The Internal Labour Organization estimates that more than 107,000 workers die each year from asbestos-related illnesses.