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With current technology, chrysotile dust levels can be kept well below internationally accepted exposure limit values. At these levels, no detectable risk is posed to workers. Moreover, according to a group of experts convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Oxford (1989), chrysotile products do not present risks of any significance to public health or the environment throughout the product lifecycle.
Recent surveys of Asbestos International Association (AIA) members in 35 countries have found that more than 90% of workers are exposed to levels lower than these international standards.
In 1986, the 143 countries present at the International Labour Organization (ILO) unanimously approved Convention 162, "Safety in the Use of Asbestos". This Convention advocates the strict regulation of chrysotile, but does not provide any prohibitions, other than crocidolite and sprayed-on asbestos. This Convention, along with recommendations by the WHO are still the international point of view favoring the controlled-use approach for chrysotile asbestos.
Countries are encouraged to ratify ILO Convention 162 in order to ensure that chrysotile asbestos is safely used in their country. For countries that choose not to formally ratify this instrument, they should endorse its controlled-use approach in a national legislation covering all the activities involving exposure of workers to asbestos in the course of work. This is the case for a large majority of chrysotile consuming countries in the world nowadays.
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