I have worked for more than 25 years in an asbestos textile factory in Indonesia, which produces Thermal Insulation and gland packing using Chrysotile as raw materials and I have been diagnosed with asbestosis.
I am one of dozens of workers who mix, scratch, twist and weave asbestos chrysotile every day. Working without adequate personal protective equipment, asbestos sacks are lifted, and emptied by hand. Our work clothes are taken home to be washed, we eat, drink and rest in areas where asbestos is produced. Not many people know about this terrible condition because there is no information and public access to know that the materials used are toxic and harmful to human health. Every year, my health condition continues to decline. I always feel pain in the chest when I go to sleep, and coughs becomes a routine at night. With this condition, it was very difficult for me to work productively. Chrysotile asbestos will continue to flood developing countries, will be used freely in the market without warning of danger, without restrictions on use, without control. This is because of the role of the ladies and gentlemen who are present here, who still allow asbestos-Chrysotile to continue to be traded.
Today, I represent my friends who are exposed to asbestos disease, to call for solidarity that the problem of asbestos is not limited to traded industrial materials, but also health and human rights.
Stop saying that asbestos is a safe material, it’s just a myth. Once again I say “I am proof that asbestos-chrysotile is dangerous and toxic”. And out there, the victims will continue to grow. There will still be more people whose lungs are sore and injured. There will still be more families who will lose their loved ones, and one of the responsible parties is the ladies and gentlemen in this forum, for allowing dangerous toxic materials to circulate freely in the public.
For this reason, on this forum I ask the Indonesian delegation who were present, and other countries that care about humanity to voice the importance of including Chrysotile asbestos in the list of Annex III.