JAIPUR: Rajasthan Human Rights Commission took to task the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) Ahmedabad for negligence in following up on cases of suspected asbestosis. This is a lung disease that afflicts those with long exposure to asbestos. The fibres of asbestos, which for long was used as a roofing material, can aggravate lung tissues and cause scarring. This leads to shortness of breath and a crackling sound while exhaling. Acute asbestosis could lead to a form of cancer called mesothelioma. Rajasthan banned mining of asbestos in 1986.

In 2007 and 2011, NIOH conducted tests on mine workers in Udaipur, and found several cases that were suspected to be asbestosis but did not pursue these cases to the logical conclusion to establish whether the workers were indeed afflicted or not.

The Rajasthan State Human Rights Commission, taking suo motu cognizance of a newspaper report in September 2012, registered a complaint in the matter of the asbestosis cases in Udaipur. Read more