White asbestos alternatives "still safer"

The three main synthetic alternatives to white asbestos are much safer than the notorious carcinogenic substance itself, a review of recent evidence by the EU's scientific toxicology committee has concluded. The EU banned virtually all uses of white asbestos - chrysotile - in 1999 (EED 29/07/99). This angered leading asbestos producer Canada, which later lost a related legal challenge brought against France in 1998 (EED 19/09/00). The review, required by the 1999 ban, says the evidence for harm to humans from chrysotile fibres is "more extensive" than for p-aramid, cellulose or PVA fibres. See Cstee opinion.

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