There has been a dramatic drop in asbestos production worldwide, with just three countries continuing to mine the deadly fibre. Brazil’s 2017 ban on asbestos production and use means only Russia, China and Kazakhstan are now mining asbestos.
The new figures from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) revealed the sharp drop in asbestos production – from around 2.1 million tonnes in 2012 to approximately 1.4 million tonnes in 2015.
While Russia has been accused of promoting asbestos sales, particularly in Asia, its home consumption has been falling. The same trend has been seen in China.
Figures for both countries for 2016 and provisional figures for 2017 suggest production has ‘flatlined’, according to a detailed analysis of the USGS figures by the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat.