The Great Asbestos Trial

From Laurie Kazan-Allen:
On February 13, 2012, in a Turin Court, the Italian prosecutor is asking for 20-year jail sentences for defendants Stephan Schmidheiny and Baron Louis de Cartier de
Marchienne, executives of the Swiss and Belgian Eternit Groups which at various times were responsible for operations at Eternit asbestos-cement factories in
Casale Monferrato and other Italian towns.

There is little information on this important case in English, but on Monday 13th a book called  Eternit and The Great Asbestos Trial is being published by a consortium of civil
society groups which examines this case and  Eternit activities on three continents and it will be available to download  on the International Ban Asbestos Sectretariat, IBAS, website: (a link on the website will lead to the book’s Table of Contents and it can be  downloaded as individual chapters or in full).

The eighteen papers on Eternit operations in seven countries reveal a consistency of approach and behaviour; a corporate modus operandi which prioritized profits regardless of the cost paid by workers, family members, consumers and communities.
To keep updated about new material on the IBAS website you can subscribe to the RSS feed at

Download Press Release here: PR Feb 2012 Eternit – Turin



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  • Asbestos is dangerous when the tiny frbies become airborne and we breathe them in. That can cause asbestosis which is linked with lung cancer.Asbestos was used as an insulating tool in such things as heating systems, shingles, siding and flooring tiles. People who worked with asbestos a lot- mining it or installing heating and airconditioning systems or building with it- started getting asbestosis at high rates . Many older building contain asbestos in some form and unless the building or system is going to be changed or renovated the asbestos can just remain. As long as nothing is disturbing it to cause the frbies to become airborne it is not dangerous. But, as in the case of the World Trade Towers, if the building gets demolished the asbestos would be pulverised and easily become airborne. So, when asbestos is going to be disturbed a licensed asbestos abatement team needs to deal with it. Best to think of asbestos as a sleeping grizzly bear and just leave it alone.

    • Thanks for your comments Michel. Sadly we still get calls from people exposed when asbestos in buildings has been disturbed; and when it has been smashed up and not disposed of properly (bagged etc & sent to a licensed site)

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