Apr 12, Colombo: Russia has decided to introduce new non-hazardous form of asbestos to Sri Lanka which is more environmental friendly, according to the Government Information Department.
Visiting Minister of Healthcare of the Russian Federation Sergey. A. Kraevoy apprised Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne of this decision during a discussion in Colombo recently.
Ambassador to the Russian Federation to Sri Lanka Yuri Borisovich Materiy, Health Ministry Secretary Wasantha Perera and Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe were present at the discussion.
This new form of asbestos has reportedly been produced to suit the climatic condition of the country.
It has been reported that the Health Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russia to import asbestos sheets claimed to be non-hazardous. Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne and a representative of the Russian Embassy have signed the MoU.
Accordingly, asbestos sheets will be custom-made for Sri Lanka in future using materials which is believed to be non-hazardous and would not pose a threat.
Sri Lanka is the world's largest importer of asbestos sheets from Russia.
The Sri Lankan government in 2017 had decided to restrict the imports of asbestos roofing materials from Russia effective 1st January 2018 due to health concerns. However, the ban was later suspended when Russia imposed a ban on Sri Lankan tea.