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Asbestos Mine in Bom Jesus da Serra and Eternit Factory in Simoes Filho, Brazil

The mine Sao Felix do Amianto was opened between 1939 and 1967 in Bom Jesus da Serra and Poçoes in Bahia. The company Eternit belonged to Stephen Schmidheiny.


The mine Sao Felix do Amianto was opened between 1939 and 1967 in Bom Jesus da Serra and Poçoes in Bahia. The company Eternit still operates an asbestos factory in Simoes Filho in the metropolitan region of Salvador. Eternit belonged to Stephen Schmidheiny. There are many oustanding claims asking for compensation both from workers in the mine and also in the factory.

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Asbestos Mine in Bom Jesus da Serra and Eternit Factory in Simoes Filho, Brazil
State or province:Bahia
Location of conflict:Bom Jesus da Serra e Simoes Filho
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Asbestos
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The mine occupied between 300 - 700 hectares.

Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:30000
Start of the conflict:1990
Company names or state enterprises:Sama Sociedade Anonima Mineracao de Amianto from Brazil
Eternit Colombiana from Mexico
Relevant government actors:Secretaria de Sade do Estado da Bahia , Comisso de Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento Sustentvel da Cmara dos Deputados, Ministrio Pblico
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Associao Baiana de Expostos ao Amianto, Associao Brasileira dos Expostos ao Amianto (Abrea)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Industrial workers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Miners, mining workers
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood
Potential: Displacement, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
New legislation
Application of existing regulations
The public procurator has indicted SAMA, asking for reparations.
The anti-asbestos association of Bahia was present at Rio 20 complaining against the companies.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The mine in Sao Felix do Amianto is closed, but it still contaminates. The Eternit factory is in production for domestic consumption and for export.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

SECRETARIA DA SADE DO ESTADO DA BAHIA. Lanada campanha sobre exposio do amianto na Bahia. Disponvel em: . Acesso em: 20 nov, 2008.
[click to view]

INSTITUTO DE DEFESA DO CONSUMIDOR (IDEC). Sama (amianto) na Bahia: morte de pessoas e contaminao de guas. Disponvel em: . Acesso em: 20 nov, 2008.
[click to view]

Exploração de amianto pode dar indenização de R$ 20 mi,exploracao-de-amianto-pode-dar-indenizacao-de-r-20-mi,343562,0.htm
[click to view]

Atingidos por amianto articulam mobilização internacional durante Rio 20
[click to view]

A TARDE. Vitimas do amianto pedem compensao. Disponvel em: . Acesso em: 20 nov, 2008.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

A mina de São Félix do Amianto.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Diogo Rocha
Last update18/08/2019
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