Session IV Speaker, Saturday, September 18
Fernanda Giannasi, founder of the Brazilian Association of People Exposed to Asbestos (ABREA), is a Civil and Safety Engineer and ex-Labor Inspector for the Ministry of Labor and Employment for 30 years, currently retired and acting as an expert advisor for the Labour Prosecutors (Federal Labour Public Ministry) as well the asbestos victims’ solicitors. She is the coordinator of the Virtual Citizen Ban Asbestos Network for Latin America, and Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini. She serves as an expert witness in judicial cases related to asbestos, nuclear and other toxic chemicals as Mercury, POP´s (Persistent Organic Pollutants). She also led thousands of workers who have filed lawsuits against the asbestos industry. In charge of a Federal Labor Inspector, she staunchly defended the public interest on workers’ safety and health and was pressured by the asbestos lobby in Brazil and Canada, and endured all kind of pressures, harassments including death threats, offensive campaigns and criminal charges by her detractors. Despite of these, she has been awarded in Brazil as the Engineer of 2012 and internationally in Canada (Ray Sentes Award), USA by the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), and Japan by the Tajiri Muneaki Memorial Fund. She was awarded by both the State of São Paulo Appeal Court and the High/Supreme Labour Court with the Judiciary Order of Merit. She is internationally well known and highly respected for her proficient and perseverant campaigning to save lives from asbestos. Fernanda Giannasi is the personification of the fight against asbestos in Brazil. She isn’t called ‘The Brockovich of Brazil’ for nothing. Last November, all her efforts to ban asbestos in Brazil as well the fight for Justice for the asbestos victims and their families were granted with the important decision by the Supreme Constitutional Court (STF) that declared asbestos banned in whole country. Recently, she was indicated by the O GLOBO, one of the most important daily newspapers in the country to be one of the finalists of the Prize “FAZ DIFERENÇA” in 2017 (Make the Difference) in the category of Economy and was awarded in South Korea with the 2017 Rachel Lee Jung-Lim Award.