Mesothelioma is one of the permanent diseases that can harm a person exposed to asbestos for a long time. People mostly affected are those working in construction and industrial sites. Asbestos is considered one of the most toxic chemicals being used for industrial purposes.
The products known to contain asbestos include fiber cement boards, packaging materials, gaskets, and friction and mechanical parts such as brake and clutch. Some major building projects such as malls, gasoline stations, airports, and several condominium projects use fiber cement boards.
A total of 40 countries have already stopped using asbestos, but companies based in Metro Manila are reported to be importing an estimated 4,000 metric tons of asbestos each year.
There have been efforts by the (Philippine) government to regulate the importation, manufacture and use of asbestos and the storage, transport and disposal of their wastes. However, the order was not strictly enforced because of the governmentâ€™s limited manpower and technological deficiency.
If unabated, health and environmental experts have warned that the country would experience the height of asbestos-related deaths 10 to 50 years from now.