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Asbestos - Still a Killer, 30 June 2011
On 30 June, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament organized a seminar on Asbestos hazards still existing in the European Community. Some 55 people attended the meeting, which featured presentations from experts and activists, among others Laurie Kazan-Allen from the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS), Jukka Takala from the Bilbao Agency and EFBWW-representatives (see downloads).
On 29 June, EFBWW and IBAS launched a joint press release in which they ask for sanctions of the European Union if, as expected, the Canadian government is subsidising the Asbestos industry with a loan of some 50 million Euro.
Even though Europe has banned the deadly substance, all European citizens are potentially exposed to asbestos since the substance is still present in buildings and other products. Jukka Takala, the director of the Bilbao Agency, pointed out that worldwide, some 122,000 people die every year because of exposure to Asbestos. Lars Vedsmand, who presented the EFBWW campaign on asbestos, listed areas in which EU authorities need to take action. Appropriate qualification of workers and the currently insufficient registration of existing asbestos (in buildings and other places and products) were two main areas of action mentioned by him. And Laurie Kazan-Allen revealed information on why and how the Canadian government is subsidizing the Canadian asbestos industry which is still exporting asbestos, mainly to third-world countries.
In his final remarks, Alejandro Cercas (MEP / S&D faction) underlined the need for an own-initiative report of the European Parliament to put the issue anew on the European agenda. That could be the starting point for improvements in the European legislation on asbestos on both safer working conditions as well as the recognition of asbestos related diseases and its compensation. Additionally, he said that some specific targets on asbestos need to be introduced in the next Community strategy on occupational safety and health. Cercas also asked for joint action against the asbestos-policy of the Canadian government.

Find related articles on this subject
Download Presentation 1 Laurie Kazan-Allen
Download Presentation 2 Laurie Kazan-Allen
Download Presentation Jukka Takala
Download Presentation Lars Vedsmand
Download Presentation Bernd Eisenbach
Download Presentation Rolf Gehring

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