Limited awareness about the health hazards of asbestos is typical across the archipelago nation of more than 17,000 islands, while poor work safety standards compound the problem.

For years, Sriyono, toiled away producing gland packing, which uses asbestos to seal systems such as pumps and shafts – but was never warned his health was at risk.
For years, Sriyono, toiled away producing gland packing, which uses asbestos to seal systems such as pumps and shafts – but was never warned his health was at risk. (TRTWorld)

In good spirits - yet very ill.

Sriyono is a father of three - living in the outskirts of Indonesia's capital. He has an incurable disease that is likely to develop into cancer.

Asbestosis is caused by inhaling fibres of asbestos, an insulating material banned in much of the developed world - and Indonesia is one of the largest users of it behind China, India, Russia and Brazil.

Indonesia has taken steps to minimise its impact by implementing exposure limits and work safety regulations, but the government has yet to consider an outright ban.

Jack Hewson reports. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies