Russia continues to use and in particular export asbestos
Despite the many health risks associated with asbestos, Russia continues to use and in particular export asbestos. According to the Russian customs agency, more than 600,000 tonnes of this ore were sold in 2018, which is generally considered to be carcinogenic. The main customers are India, China, Vietnam and Indonesia. In these countries, asbestos is not prohibited but is still widely used in the construction sector and in road construction.
In Russia, the type of asbestos extracted in Russian mines, chrysotile, is considered to be completely harmless and anti-asbestos campaigns are said to be orchestrated for the purpose of weakening Russian producers in favour of European alternatives to asbestos. Thousands of jobs depend on the asbestos industry in Russia, not least in the city of Asbestos, for which the material is named.
The asbestos industry is now also marketing itself with the help of US President Donald Trump and his face adorns many asbestos bags. In a book published in 1997, Donald Trump has stated that asbestos is 100 per cent harmless and that it is the mafia behind the campaign to ban asbestos.