SAO PAULO, Feb. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Brazilian Eternit Group, in view of recent news regarding the trial held at the Court of Justice in Turin, Italy, in which two ex-board members of Eternit Italy were held responsible for deaths resulting from the use of asbestos in its plants, wishes to publicly clarify that:
Eternit S.A. is a locally-owned, publicly traded company listed in the New Market, which is the highest level of Corporate Governance at the Sao Paulo State Stock, Commodities and Futures Exchange (BM&FBOVESPA), and bears no relation to Eternit in other countries, including Italy. The ownership and use of the trademark are exercised in distinct manners by different companies in several countries.
In Brazil Eternit employs chrysotile asbestos as a reinforcement fiber in the manufacturing of asbestos-cement roofing sheets and tiles using modern production techniques. The Italian company employed various types of asbestos, especially the amphibole variety, in several applications and without protection for the workers.
The activity in Brazil is regulated by Federal Law 9.055/95, Decree 2.350/97 and Regulatory Norms issued by the Ministry of Labor and Employment. These regulate the extraction, industrialization, sale and transportation of chrysotile asbestos and products which contain it, providing the Brazilian population with durable, high quality and excellent cost-benefit products; in this manner contributing to reduce the Brazilian housing deficit.
Market competition in the cement-asbestos segment, between Eternit S.A. and a French group that also is active in Brazil in the manufacturing and use of synthetic fibers, has led some Brazilian states, especially where the plants are located, to approve anti-asbestos legislation. It is worth mentioning that the validity of these laws awaits a merit decision on the part of the Supreme Federal Court.
The extraction and processing of chrysotile asbestos by controlled entity SAMA and the use of the mineral in Eternit's plants are subject to strict security standards that surpass legal requirements. With the improvement in production techniques and the perfection of work safety mechanisms, no accounts of disease related to the use of chrysotile asbestos have been reported among company employees who joined the group since the 1980's. A three-way agreement signed and in place since 1989, between the companies in the chain of production, workers and labor union entities and registered at the Ministry of Labor and Employment, has been instrumental and decisive in consolidating this achievement.
The use of asbestos-cement, water tank and roofing tile products containing chrysotile asbestos does not present risks to the population's health. There are no reports in Brazil of a single case of a resident who developed any disease as a result of inhabiting one of the more than 25 million residences covered by cement-asbestos roofing tiles containing asbestos. This fact is corroborated by a nationwide survey conducted by a renowned medical team linked to the main Brazilian universities, the project and final report for which were approved by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development - CNPq, and which is available at the site http://www.sectec.go.gov.br/portal .
The Eternit Group operates under full transparency and maintains an "Open Doors Program" that has already received more than 50 thousand visitors to its plants and which grants access to any person who wishes to know more about the safe processes employed in mining and producing products that contain chrysotile asbestos.
Additional Information: www.eternit.com.br/ir
Elio A. MartinsPresident and Investor Relations Director for the Eternit GroupEternit S.A.Corporate Tax Payer Registration (CNPJ) No.: 61.092.037/0001-81
Investor Relations Team(55-11) 3038-3818 - (55-11) 3194-3872 - (55-11) 3194-3881 www.eternit.com.br/irri @eternit.com.br
SOURCE Eternit S.A.
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