V.A.Kochelaev, the chairman of expert council of the noncommercial organization "Chrysotile association"
Asbestos is known since very old times. For 1300 B.C. in China and India priests had fireproof clothes from this mineral in which entered into fire and, to people amazement, left him live, causing thereby a worship for self. For 300-400 years B.C. the mineral was known in Greece where has received the name "asbestos" - nonflammable. In the Middle Ages considered that asbestos is wool of the animal similar to a snake, living in fire and named a salamander. His wool doesn't burn and from her it is possible to weave fireproof fabrics.
Asbestos has been found in Russia in 1720 in Average Ural Mountains under Nevjansky where mine industrialist Nikita Demidov has organized extraction of the mineral named "mountain flax". From this mineral skilled craftsmen refined gloves for rich ladies knitted, made a fabric and clothes for working metal works.
In 1722 Nikita Demidov has presented a cloth from asbestos to the Russian emperor Peter I and to all present on reception has shown her unique property - incombustibility. Asbestos manufacture under Nevjansky, in connection with absence of the big benefit, has existed hardly more than 20 years - till 1742. However interest to him in the world hasn't run low.
Now Russia is the largest manufacturer and the chrysotile-asbestos consumer. He has found wide application thanks to the unique properties: high adsorption abilities, elasticity, durability, chemical firmness, high factor of a friction, fire resistance, elasticity and many other surprising properties. Despite enormous efforts and mullions-strong dollar expenses, and the substances having the same set of useful properties which asbestos possesses aren't found.
The reasons of antiasbestine campaign
Extraction, enrichment and use of many minerals in uncontrollable conditions is connected with negative influence on health of the person.
Didn't become an exception and asbestos. In 1907 in England doctor Mjurrej has found out for the first time a case of professional pulmonary disease - an asbestosis in the worker contacting to asbestos. After that the attention of a medical science has been drawn to a fibre. Since 30th years the materials devoted to an adverse effect of asbestos including dust are published in escalating volume abroad and at us in the country. In the early seventies scale basic researches of scientists-physicians have confirmed oncological danger for working long time with asbestos.
The international agency on cancer studying has included a mineral in group of substances with authentically proved cancerogenic properties. Known American scientist Irving Selikoff during the same period has put forward position "and one fibre kills" which has been supported by some foreign researchers and has formed a basis for wide antiasbestine campaign.
In 1978 the National institute of the Cancer and National institute of sciences about environment of the USA have published calculations according to which "the professional exposition to asbestos will lead more than to two millions premature death from malignant diseases the next three decades".
In the USA and the Western Europe there were programs on restriction and prohibition of use of asbestos, and also on his removal from earlier constructed buildings and constructions
Most the vigorous activity on prohibition of use of asbestos was developed by Agency on protection of environment of the USA which has accepted in 1989 the decision about an asbestos interdiction by 1996. In 1991 the Appeal court of the USA cancelled this decision because of his insufficient validity, as agency:
- hasn't studied possibility of replacement of asbestos cheaper alternative materials;
- hasn't studied probable harmful consequences of growth of use of substitutes, many of which contain carcinogens;
- hasn't counted up possible losses of the state as a result of acceptance of this decision.
At last methods of work of agency have been condemned at decision-making which don't provide the account of all opinions. William Rajli, the manager of EPA of the USA, recognized recently that "the government and agency should incur a part of responsibility for wrong understanding which has led to unjustified excitements and unnecessary elimination of asbestos". Here pertinently to notice that mentioned above I.Selikoff never called for an interdiction of use of asbestos and named controllable use by an effective way of preventive maintenance asbestos cause diseases. In the USA asbestos use is authorized now. The interdiction extends only on a building and sheet cardboard, a paper goffered and special, on new kinds of use of asbestos. All the rest is authorized: a fibrocement, frictional materials and many other things. However the wave of an antiasbestine psychosis has been lifted and threw to the Western Europe where in 90-s' years one country for another have started to forbid asbestos. In 1999 the European Commission has accepted the instruction on prohibition of use of asbestos and products from him in the countries of the European Union since January, 1st, 2005. Unfortunately, on it the management of the European Union hasn't calmed down, it began to put pressure upon other countries for the purpose of an asbestos interdiction in them. Movement for an asbestos interdiction with headquarters in London and branches in the different countries of the world is created. Movement is well organized and possesses the big financial resources. With a position of a total interdiction of asbestos the governments of many countries of the world, first of all asbestos extrating and asbestos using don't agree; many visible scientists, including those countries where asbestos is forbidden don't agree.
The policy of safe controllable use of chrysotile-asbestos is accurately registered in the Convention 162 International organizations of work which was ratified by many countries, including Russia in 2000. At 60th session of the World Assembly of Public health services in 2007 the Global plan of action on health protection working in which item 10 the differentiated approach to regulation of various forms of asbestos for the purpose of liquidation asbetos causing diseases is proclaimed is accepted. Today in the world it is used about 2000 harmful substances, including more than 300 with cancerogenic properties, there are many productions which technology causes occurrence of oncological diseases. There is a logic question - why so the asbestos interdiction is actively propagandized.
Seven most investigated reasons of antiasbestine campaign.
1. Use in countries of Western Europe in considerable quantities of amphibole asbestos.
The term "asbestos" unites the big group of the natural fibrous minerals different from each other by structure, a crystal structure, physical and chemical properties, and also features of biological influence on a human body. In the USA and in the Western Europe till 90th years of last century in considerable quantities were used acid resistante group of amphibole asbestos. According to modern researches amphibole asbestos possesses higher biological aggression in comparison with chrysotile-asbestos. Fibres of amphibole asbestos at penetration into lungs can be in them throughout all human life while chrysotile-asbestos fibres are capable to be dissolved in the acid pulmonary environment and to be deduced from an organism. Therefore groundlessness of the identical approach to an estimation of influence of various types of asbestos on health of the person is obvious. Results of researches of biological firmness of a fibre in the lungs spent by laboratories of Switzerland, Germany and the USA, show that the semideducing period for amphibole fibres of amosite asbestos makes 466 days, while chrysotile is from 1 till 14 days. Higher biological activity of amphibole fibres is recognized in the world. On different scientific sources on the average she exceeds biological activity of chrysotile-asbestos in 100-500 times. A problem of the Western Europe that in total amounts of consumption of asbestos there is to 20 % made amphibole-asbestos. Only in the early nineties the last century use of amphibole asbestos was forbidden. Therefore there is nothing surprising that disease and death rate from a cancer of lungs and the mesotheliomas of a pleura connected with use of mixes of asbestos, in the Western Europe in tens and hundreds times more, than in the CIS countries and the Eastern Europe where chrysotile-asbestos was extracted and used only.
Especially obvious distinction between asbestos types consists in their ability to cause development of disease of a pleura. Actually this disease is connected with an exposition of amphibole fibres. There, where it was mainly used chrysotile asbestos delivered from Russia, prevalence of a mesothelioma of a pleura is practically at background level. And in Europe not all is unequivocal. Researches of two scientific Austrias, the country entering into EU, the countries where the fibrocement has been invented are recently published. Scientists of Austria don't agree with the statement that in Europe epidemic from asbestos expands. They prove that in Austria no data on epidemic of a mesothelioma from asbestos is present and it is not expected. They consider that it is impossible to predict death rate from asbestos only on 6 countries, "forgetting" the data on other countries, such as Austria, Czechia, Slovakia. According to scientists of Austria, low frequency of asbestos cause diseases in Austria speaks the short period of use amphibole asbestos (20 years - with 1948 for 1968) and absence of practice of a dusting of asbestos on building designs that was widely applied in Germany, France, Great Britain, the USA. The western scientists who are standing up for an interdiction of asbestos, basically dealt with results of researches of amphibole asbestos or a mix of amphibole with chrysotile. Now, according to recommendations the SQUANDERER, application of amphibole asbestos is forbidden in all countries, including in Russia. Unfortunately, the population and the public of the world have no sufficient information that there are different kinds of asbestos with various biological activity. For many people "asbestos" is a uniform mineral.
2. High level of disease and death rate at asbestos use in uncontrollable conditions last years (since 1940 till 1980)
In the majority of foreign researches the raised risk of development of asbestos caused diseases has been found out mainly at isolating workers, working shipyards and asbestos textile factories, in days of the Second World War working with asbestos (amphibole in a mix with chrysotile) in the conditions of extremely high concentration (ten and hundred in mg / in cubic sm), at total absence of protection frames. Last decades in the world, including in Russia, considerable measures on improvement of working conditions and preservations of the environment have been taken.
Level of asbestos caused diseases has as a result decreased. So, the number of cases of an asbestosis in industrial complex "Uralasbest" has decreased from 29 %, from number passed periodic surveys in 1950, to the 0.01-th shares of percent now. On the asbestos extrating enterprises of Canada where the confirmed maximum permissible concentration equal 1 fiber/ml isn't exceeded, already more than 30 years didn't come to light any new case of an asbestosis.
The Canadian experts not without justification consider that the asbestosis is an illness of the past. By the way, on the asbestos cement enterprises of Russia also it is not revealed any case of an asbestosis. Many enterprises in the world, using asbestos, own the best technologies providing low level of an exposition on a workplace.
Now in member countries of the International asbestine association only 1,3 % of analyses of a dust content of air don't correspond to maximum concentration limit, the equal 2 fiber/ml (many scientists consider this maximum concentration limit as border between dangerous influence of asbestos and safe), and doesn't exceed 96 % of analyses 1 ox/ml. Nevertheless, opponents of asbestos persistently extrapolate negative indicators of the past on modern manufacture, thus don't take into consideration that the population, builders use not asbestos in the pure state, and products in which he is in a matrix of binding substance. At use of finished articles of a fibre of asbestos in environment practically aren't allocated, concentration in air it is insignificant it is small. Even at destruction dense asbestos including products in air asbestos in the pure state, and the fibres aggregated with binding substance is allocated, as a rule, not.
3. Error of some scientists concerning absence for asbestos of a threshold of safety.
The specified error if this error, instead of deliberate misinformation, allows an occasion to politicians to conduct extreme antiasbestine campaign. It is not taken into consideration that asbestos is a natural product, by analogy to oxygen, is present at all corners of the world in air and water. The matter is that asbestos lies down in serpentine which are one of the basic rocks of a planet. On the average each inhabitant of the Earth irrespective of where he lives, inhales and swallows millions asbestine fibres daily. These are billions people, but the risk to be ill with asbestos cause diseases is possible only at those who is professionally connected with asbestos on manufacture. Yes, chrysotile-asbestos is classified as cancerogenic substance, but classification of the International agency of studying of a cancer is based on property of substance to cause a cancer. And it doesn't mean that the substance is carcinogen under all circumstances, in particular, at a small exposition. It is necessary to notice that in group "Substance, cancerogenic for the person" are 99 substances and mixes, and also activity kinds: "Gasoline", "Wood dust", "Alcoholic drinks", "footwear manufacture", "furniture manufacturing". Very few people knows that classification of the International agency by cancer studying includes only danger identification, but doesn't include a risk estimation, that is an estimation of possible toxic displays under actual conditions of use. Recently seven known scientists from Great Britain, the USA, Switzerland, Canada have addressed the offer that this organization in the documents has made corresponding explanations to warn against consequences of extreme control or an interdiction, and that classification doesn't intend for use as the tool for interdictions without an estimation of corresponding risk. The recognition of substance the cancerogenic doesn't mean that at the person is inevitable can there will be a tumor at a meeting with it. Real danger depends on cancerogenic activity of this substance and a dose which is received by the person. Many scientists consider that at today's levels of an exposition risk from chrysotile-asbestos very small and, probably, not found out. Of it us convince statistical given around the city to Asbest of Sverdlovsk area. In a city, besides company "Uralasbest" into which structure enter mine and dressing factory, there are factory of asbestos technical products, scientific-research institute with pilot factory. Thus the part of the enterprises works directly in a city, and the city is onboard the world's largest open-cast mine where chrysotile-asbestos is extracted. Thus, city of Asbest is rather representative for the analysis and studying of chrysotile asbestos influence on working people and the population as a whole. Some West European mass media the city is declared by unsuccessful. However the medical statistics speaks about other: indicators of the general death rate in the city of Asbest more low, than in Sverdlovsk area, and indicators of death rate from oncological diseases only slightly above. The Ekaterinburg medical center of science of preventive maintenance and health protection of the working industrial enterprises spends comparison of death rate from a cancer of the easy population of the Asbest city which professionally has been not connected with asbestos, and the population of other cities of Sverdlovsk area where there are no the manufactures connected with asbestos. Indicators on Asbest city have appeared are comparable with indicators of "not asbestine" cities. In the city of Asbest it is not revealed any case of asbestos cause diseases among the inhabitants who do not have by the nature of the professional work contact with chrysotile-asbestos. Similar researches were spent in the cities of Asbestoss and Tetford-Majns in Canada where the industry on chrysotile-asbestos extraction also is concentrated. Results are similar to conclusions of the Russian scientists - the raised death rate it is not revealed. The numerous epidemiological researches spent in the European countries, Canada, India, the republic of South Africa, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia at use only chrysotile testify that, like any mineral dust, at enough high concentration and the big duration of an exposition to chrysotile, there is a potential possibility of development of diseases. However at low levels of an exposition to chrysotile lungs of the person can quite cope with fibres and a dust.
4. Errors or deliberate misinformation about safety of artificial mineral fibres chrysotile-asbestos substitutes. .
With watchfulness to concern artificial mineral fibres call documents of World Health Organization and the International organization of work which carry them to possible and probable cancerogenic substances. About same researches of foreign and Russian scientists testify. In November, 2005 in France to Lyons the symposium the CART on chrysotile-asbestos substitutes has been organized. This symposium has taken place on demand of secretary of the Rotterdam convention. Opponents of use of chrysotile-asbestos speak about his results almost nothing. And it isn't casual. Ten experts, including three of the USA have been invited to this symposium, one of Japan, other of the Western Europe, still were present three invited experts (two of the USA and one of Germany). It has been considered twelve types of various fibres, classified on danger degree. Because experimental researches and especially epidemiological on chrysotile-asbestos substitutes it is spent a little, on many of them what or conclusions to make it was not presented possible. By four kinds of fibres danger uncertain. From them it is necessary to allocate fibres which are widely advertized today in the countries of South East Asia, in particular in Vietnam as safe, production technologies of wavy roofs with use of this material are developed. High degree of danger is defined for oktitanate potassium, average - for pair-amid fibres. Many disputes have caused definition of degree of danger for synthetic glass pattern fibres (fiber glass, mineral cotton wool, fire-resistant ceramic fibres concern them). Today a considerable quantity is imported to Russia from the West roofing and heat insulation materials with use of fibres-substitutes, new factories are under construction. And it is obligatory this production it is presented as non-polluting, not containing asbestos. As a result of disputes have converged on a following conclusion: high danger for bio-persistent fibres and low for nonbio-persistent. Bio-persistent is a duration of time of a finding of particles of fibres inhaled by the person in lungs before they will be deduced, better to say "firmness". Results of already mentioned research on bio-persistance under the direction of the Swiss scientists show that firmness of chemical fibres the high. So, if for fibres of a natural mineral of chrysotile the semideducing period makes from 1 till 14 days, ceramic fibres - 60 days, fiber glasses - from 6 till 79 days, stone cotton wool - from 5 till 67 days, an aramide fibre - 45 days. For respirable cellulose fibres danger isn't defined in connection with small quantity of the data. It is necessary to notice that the period of semideducing for cellulose has made 1046 days. And only for three kinds of fibres, not so widespread, - vollastonite, ksonoklite and carbonaceous fibres - danger is recognized by low. The conclusions of this symposium made the West European and American experts, won't be coordinated with arguments of initiators of an interdiction chrysotile-asbestos. Meanwhile, the world markets are filled by "non-polluting" artificial mineral both organic substances and products from them, applying for a role of substitutes of chrysotile-asbestos. According to an unfair advertizing, the inscription "non-asbestos" became an inscription synonym "non-polluting". Thus suppliers of substitutes of asbestos hold back necessity of application of the same security measures with their material, as at chrysotile-asbestos use. To consumers and the population, not warned about necessity of observance of security measures to the new goods, the damage can be caused to health. Besides, the products replacing asbestos cement, at 2-10 time are more expensive. The population poor and developing countries is unable buy them. There are for many long years unresolved many social problems - housing, maintenance with potable water, the water drain, etc. Nevertheless, despite preventions of scientists-physicians, the western countries push on the markets of the poor both poorest countries substitutes and technologies of their manufacture.
5. Unfair and biassed demographic forecasts from outside both scientists, and politicians.
For example, the Minister of Health, social security and education of the USA mister Kolifano in 1978 has made the forecast that the next years of the population of 17 % of the USA will die of a cancer connected with an exposition to asbestos. Has passed 20 years - the prophecy has appeared imagination. But, unfortunately, on such inexact forecasts decisions on an interdiction of use of asbestos are made. The ministry of social affairs and employment questions in the Netherlands predicts in the special report that the next years in this country 40 thousand persons from number before occupied on the works connected with use of asbestos will die. And, the peak of death is expected during the period between 2010 and 2025 years. In Great Britain the forecast according to which by 2020 the annual quantity of death in this country will reach 10 thousand is exaggerated. Thus nobody uses rather easily defined actual indicators of risk of death for last years when there were very bad working conditions, nobody tries to define coincidence of the predictions to the real facts after the predicted period. However frightening forecasts immediately extend mass media, cause asbestine phobia in the population and the public and, as consequence, the requirement about a substance interdiction.
6. A competition from manufacturers of alternative materials.
This reason can objectively stand on any, including on the first place. Antiasbestine campaign has arisen and is actively spent in the countries which do not have own deposits of asbestos, but having powerful chemical and the iron and steel industry making substitutes of asbestos. In campaign carrying out huge financial assets of transnational concerns are used. Psychologists and economists of these concerns participate in work of the commissions of the European Union and the Council of Europe at discussion of a problem of asbestos. Unfortunately, the industry connected with asbestos (basically it is the small asbestine enterprises), can't take adequate measures since, we will tell directly, is rather poor in comparison with the world chemical industry, and the political potential isn't comparable with the European commission. Created in 1976 the International Chrysotile Assosiation uniting associations of about 40 countries, tries to counteract antiasbestine campaign on the basis of the scientific data, but her financial possibilities aren't comparable to those in transnational chemical concerns. And, these concerns aren't limited to commodity markets in the rich countries, but conduct antiasbestine campaign and in the countries of the so-called third world. On a wave of antiasbestine campaign in the USA and the Western Europe there was a new direction in business - the firms specializing on removal of asbestos from buildings. Their incomes make billions US dollars. It is natural that they also have actively joined in antiasbestine campaign. Antiasbestine campaign had actively joined the business lawyers, earning hundred millions dollars on so-called "victims of asbestos". The word "so-called" is used because as results of investigations in the USA testify, 90 % of diagnoses about asbestos cause disease is false. Of a wave of antiasbestine campaign make profit, to a deep regret, and many western scientists receiving from the European structures huge "grants" on carrying out of researches with antiasbestine results. To state an objective estimation to chrysotile-asbestos and thus refuse the European feeding trough many can't.
7. The political reasons.
In the Western Europe and a number of other countries mass media in relation to asbestos create the atmosphere close to a psychosis. The public opinion in the majority is incited against a mineral. Naturally, many politicians can't pass by it and exploit an antiasbestine spirit. To Great Britain, for example, there were discussions about use of chrysotile-asbestos, opinions among scientists were different. And here prime minister Tony Blair practically right after his election on a post, without having had time to get acquainted with a problem, has made the statement for an asbestos interdiction. In campaign mind some asbestos last 10 years the European trade unions participated, but their activity has especially increased last 2 years. Thus as the coordinator of a general hysteria on introduction of an interdiction for asbestos the international Federation of Workers of Building and Woodworking industries began to act. In 2005 the International Conference of Free trade unions was connected to antiasbestine campaign. This trade union spends active work on involving to antiasbestine movement of the various organizations. He was possible manage support of the World Federation of Associations of public health services, the International commission on Professional hygiene, of the International society of doctors for environment, the International association of social security, trade unions at the commission of the United Nations on a sustainable development, the International trade union of workers of iron and steel industry etc. the Main objective: to involve in antiasbestine movement it is as much as possible organizations, trade unions and to show that movement minds some asbestos - world, mass. The international organization of work at conference of 2006 under the pressure of the European trade unions in the agenda had been included the resolution asbestos use mind. The question about "Resolutions on asbestos" didn't stand in the conference agenda, and has been taken out already during conference that contradicts procedure Rules. Accordingly, in a cut of the Charter the SQUANDERER, it has not been spent necessary "careful technical training and consultations" on this point in question. In protest at excessive pressure and infringements of the Charter the SQUANDERER one of three parties - the group of Employers - has with its full complement refused participation in voting. Nevertheless, "the Resolution on asbestos" has been taken out on plenary session of Conference the SQUANDERER in penultimate day (conference lasted 17 days) when many have already parted including representatives of the CIS countries, and representatives of the European Union remained and have amicably voted "for an interdiction". It is necessary to notice thathas been presented as the appendix to the Convention the SQUANDERER on Professional safety and hygiene on which there were no disputes, and voting was as a whole under the convention, instead of separately on . Nevertheless, secretary the SQUANDERER and aforementioned trade unions already have let out next day press releases, triumphing concerning acceptance of this resolution as though anything else for 17 days it was not discussed and didn't dare. Typical history with an asbestos interdiction in France. In 1994 some the French teachers of Parisian university Zhjusse working in buildings, теплоизолированных asbestos, have died of a lung cancer. In a press there was a number of the disturbing articles confirming what exactly stay in such buildings has led to a fatal outcome, and any proofs of the reason of occurrence of a cancer wasn't resulted. Wives of teachers qualified happened as unpremeditated murder of their husbands, accusing of inactivity the industry and administration of establishments. Conditions reminded "witch-hunt". Unfortunately, nobody dared to explain to relatives that the lung cancer is a mass disease in France (to 67 cases on 100 thousand men a year), amazing living and in non-asbestos buildings. In October, 1994 these disturbing events, interest to which has been warmed skillfully up, have led to creation at university Zhjusse of antiasbestine committee which for the sake of protection of health of students and teachers has demanded full removal of asbestos from buildings. Conditions in which the decision on an asbestos interdiction in France was made, mister Claude Allerg - the largest expert in medicine of work of France here is how describes:" At university Zhjusse the intellectual terrorism dominates. The one who dares to call into question correctness of decisions, offend, abuse also to him quite often threaten. In connection with atmosphere of a collective psychosis the problem of small risk has turned to a problem of huge risk". By request of the government of France the national institute of health and a medical science has prepared the report which later the expert group of scientists of Canada has estimated as not possessing scientific severity as he could be used for support of any point of view. This report has been published, and in 24 hours on his basis the government of France has made the decision on an asbestos interdiction. Haste from which the decision was accepted, says that all has been predetermined in advance. Here that the French scientist, professor Binon, the expert in a problem of a biological estimation of action of asbestos speaks about it:"This political decision which has been taken out under the pressure of public organizations, and also mass media".
In 2005 the government of Egypt has forbidden manufacture of asbestos cement products, and more recently Academy of medical sciences of Egypt, having discussed use question of asbestos cement products, has drawn a conclusion that their manufacture and use is safe that no medical reasons for an asbestos interdiction existing and has urged the country government to start again asbestos cement factories. Unfortunately, in the majority of the countries of a policy decisions on an asbestos interdiction in a similar way made, without an extensive discussion, quite often without reckoning with opinion of a medical science. The rights of Emilio Kosta - the Italian industrialist: "Human nonsense, in a combination to huge commercial interests, have ruined use of one of the most valuable natural fibres which the mankind" ever had. Italy, as it is known, has forbidden asbestos too. Arises some kind of "vicious circle".
The campaign directed on attraction of attention to a problem of asbestos, has played a positive role. In many countries effective systems which have allowed to prevent an adverse effect of asbestos on working people and the population have been developed and introduced in practice. On the other hand, already generated public opinion, a certain position of mass media, political and economic interests of the separate enterprises and the organizations demand continuation of antiasbestine campaign from scientists and a policy, representatives of the international organizations which last years (it is frequent quite soundly) spoke about importance of preventive maintenance asbestos cause diseases. In these cases nobody is already interested in the objective scientific data. Not without reason the American council about a science and health in October, 2007 in article "The Exposition to asbestos: how much is she dangerous ?" ascertains: "Problem now is, whether will be to use regulating departments the modern scientific data even if it will demand to change system for a long time existing concepts or views concerning influence of asbestos on health of the person". To us having huge stocks of this mineral and convinced that chrysotile-asbestos and products on his basis can be used safely, would be silly to refuse him.
The hysteria on a bird flu has ended with recently milliard expenses in dollars. Campaign for a question of the global warming, initiated by a number of the European organizations, is called in question and is in a stage of disputes and discussions. The hysteria on chrysotile-asbestos still grows.