Representatives from the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) asked that the Ministry of Commerce's Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression directorate-general (CCF) to raise awareness of the health risks associated with asbestos to the public, especially construction workers.
The request came when CCF deputy director-general Dim Theng met with EuroCham representatives on September 9 at the CCF headquarters in Phnom Penh.
Cambodia is yet to implement a law banning the import of products containing asbestos, although the CCF expected the government to pass a law doing so in the near future. The government is currently drafting a roadmap to reduce the impact and risks of asbestos-related diseases in Cambodia.
The CCF said that it had publicized the risks associated with asbestos and encouraged businesses which produced or imported construction materials to analyse them for the presence of asbestos. The CCF laboratory would be happy to offer testing, which in turn would build trust among consumers.
The CCF warned that it would impose fines on anyone who misrepresented a product as free of asbestos when in fact it contained the substance.
In a social media post following the meeting, the CCF said that the EuroCham representatives had thrown their support behind the ban.
“The EuroCham representatives requested that the CCF and other relevant parties raise awareness of the health effects of asbestos more widely, especially to construction workers. EuroCham has been cooperating closely with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training on this work,” the post announced.
The CCF laboratory has the ability to test for the presence of asbestos, thanks to the assistance of a 2019 programme by the Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad.