Anti-asbestos campaigner, Fernanda Giannasi of Brazil has been a Labour Inspector in Sao Paulo State for more than twenty years. She has received both Brazilian and international honours for her work with asbestos victims. In 2001, she was a successful finalist in the prestigious Claudia Award for Brazil’s Woman of the Year and was elected a Fellow of the renowned Collegium Ramazzini.
As a civil servant, Inspector Giannasi has not had a salary increase in over seven years; the costs of Inspector Giannasi’s lawyers are being borne by the Inspector herself. Giannasi is still paying off the legal bills she incurred defending herself in the unsuccessful defamation action brought by the Brazilian asbestos company, Eternit S.A., in 1998.
She has received a threatening letter accusing her of being responsible for decreasing the use of asbestos in Brazil from 140,000 tonnes per year to 64, 000 tonnes per year.
Dr. SUZUKI Takeo, former Director of the National Institute of Health, as the chair of the Tajiri Muneaki Memorial Fund announced the Tajiri award in Tokyo on 11th June, 2004 informed Sugio FURUYA, Secretary General, Global Asbestos Congress (GAC)- 2004 Organizing Committee. Tajiri Muneaki Memorial Fund is one of the supposrting bodies of GAC-2004.
This award was given in memory of late Tajiri Muneaki, who campaigned against industrial pollution and occupational hazards in Japan. The award comprises of certification, gift and 300,000 yen of award money to Fernanda in November 2004 when she would come to Japan to attend the GAC-2004.
Muneaki, known and respected G-Man (agent anti-pollution), died of cancer in 1990 and was an untiring fighter against the industrial contaminations in its country. It was responsible for the launching of the campaign anti-asbestos in Yokosuka and created the BANJAN – the net of the banishment of the asbestos of Japan in 1987.
Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) congratulates Fernanda Gianassi and appreciates Tajiri Muneaki Memorial Fund for making the right choice.