by Laurie Kazan-Allen
On May 7, 2014 at a prestigious ceremony in an iconic Brazilian museum in São Paulo, the work of veteran ban asbestos activist and former labor inspector Fernanda Giannasi was publicly commemorated when she was presented with an award for excellence by the editors of CIPA Magazine, a widely read publication focusing on issues related to occupational health and safety.
The recipients of the “Premio Destaque Award 2014” were nominated and voted for by CIPA’s readers with the final selection being made by occupational safety and health professionals.1
The choice of venue for this celebration was ironic given that when the museum was due to reopen after extensive refurbishment some years ago, an art installation was interdicted by Ms. Giannasi as it contained corrugated asbestos sheeting. After heated debates with the curator of the exhibition, the set designer and the museum, the contaminated material was replaced with asbestos-free alternatives and the toxic debris transported to a landfill for hazardous waste. The photographs below from Ms. Giannasi’s archive show the remediation work undertaken at the museum to eliminate the contamination. Read more