Asbestos Inspection NJ

Asbestos Inspection NJ: Why is asbestos still used today?

In this article, we discuss why asbestos is still use today in some countries around the world. We are also interests in the political measures that regulate this use. Read us to learn more!

In which countries is asbestos still in production today?

According to the data collected by Statista, and as we have already had the opportunity to specify previously on this blog, the first producer of asbestos in the world is Russia; indeed, the country extracted about 790 million tons of this mineral in 2020. On the other hand, the largest asbestos mines are in As best, about 1500 km north of Moscow.

Kazakhstan, with a mining operation of 200,000 tons of asbestos. Thus ranks as the second-largest asbestos producer on a global scale. The third position in this sad ranking is occupied by China, with 100,000 tons produced each year.

But… Isn’t it forbidden to use asbestos and manufacture products containing it?

Not in all countries!

Today, asbestos is completely banned in more than 50 countries, including Japan, Australia, and all European Union member countries. Iceland was the first country to ban the import of asbestos in 1983, closely followed by Sweden, which took the same measures a few years later. Germany, meanwhile, banned all use of asbestos in 1992, and USA did the same in 1997.

On the other hand, in certain countries, asbestos is still use today, following the example of Russia and many Asian countries. This dangerous mineral is also in circulation in the United States, although in lesser quantities.

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What about USA laws prohibiting any use of asbestos?

The USA government banned the use of asbestos from January 1, 1995, following a report that at least 2,000 people in USA die each year from diseases resulting from exposure to this mineral.

Since the ban, no more acts of extraction and treatment of asbestos have taken place on USA soil. However, asbestos materials are still used (dividing walls, fire doors, false ceilings, pipes, roofing tiles, etc.) and represent a wide variety of exposure sources. In 2007, the National Institute for Research and Safety (INRS) estimated that one to two million workers were exposed to asbestos during repair and maintenance operations, including 900,000 in the construction sector. The professionals most likely to inhale asbestos dust work in the following sectors:

  • Public works
  • Demolition and renovation
  • Light work, repair, and maintenance operations (plumbing, electricity, air conditioners installation, painting, etc.)
  • Waste treatment activities

In general, and according to data collected by ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety), the concentrations of asbestos dust measured in the workplace are much higher. Higher than those measured in other contexts.

Read also this: Asbestos Project Design: The Importance of Proper Planning

To what extent is asbestos still use internationally?

If asbestos is no longer use in most of the West, this is not the case everywhere in the world. Indeed, countries such as India or China still manufacture products containing asbestos, which requires the extraction and treatment of hundreds of thousands of tons of asbestos each year. Therefore, it is difficult to prevent products containing asbestos from circulating in countries that have nevertheless banned all use of the mineral… For example, as recently as last year, in 2021, various studies and analyses have shown this mineral’s presence in toys and building materials imported into Australia. And sadly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

Even today, one can find toys that contain asbestos.

Unfortunately, it is necessary to face reality: prohibiting the use of asbestos within a country does not prevent products containing this dangerous mineral from always crossing its borders. Thousands of tons of asbestos are still present in USA buildings today due to the massive use made of this mineral in the 20th century. Indeed, the main form of exposure to asbestos consists of inhaling fibers circulating in polluted air.

What are the proven health risks resulting from asbestos exposure?

Asbestos mainly causes cancer. If the latter most frequently affects the lungs, the ovaries. Or the larynx, they can also affect many other organs, particularly the stomach and the intestines. Once inhaled, asbestos fibers remain in the body and can cause cases of asbestosis, a progressive inflammatory disease that attacks the lungs.

Health experts are formal; there is no safe threshold for asbestos exposure. This, therefore, means that however small the number of asbestos fibers inhaled, the risk of developing a disease exists. On the other hand, it has been prove that following asbestos exposure; smoking is an aggravating factor in the risk of lung cancer. In 2007, the World Health Assembly called for global campaigns to eliminate diseases caused by asbestos exposure. The World Health Organization thus recommends a global ban, attesting that chrysotile causes many cancer cases.

How many deaths are cause by exposure to asbestos?

The World Health Organization estimates that around 125 million people are expose to asbestos at work. And at least 107,000 people worldwide die each year from exposure to asbestos fibers on the job. Their workplace. It is estimated that almost half of deaths caused by cancer developed in the workplace are due to asbestos.

Moreover, a December 2016 article published in the medical, scientific journal The Lancet claims that the number of deaths caused by exposure to asbestos at work amounted to 180,225 in 2013. The burden of diseases related to asbestos continues to increase. Even in countries where the use of this mineral was Bann in the early 1990s.

What do the countries and companies that still use asbestos have to say?

“Quite simply,” the chemical composition of chrysotile (or white asbestos) is different from that of amphiboles. And the immune system can defend the lungs and the rest of the body from the risks of the inhalation of chrysotile. The International Chrysotile Association further states that modern products containing asbestos are quite different from products that may have been design in the past and that exposure to chrysotile, when used securely, is healthy…

Will asbestos eventually be Bann internationally?

A hundred countries (including each of the member countries of the European Union) have already banned the use of asbestos. A material classified in the category of “hazardous waste” under Annex 1 of the Basel Convention on the control Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, a treaty dating back to 1995. On December 5, 2019, the Basel Ban Amendment became international law. Adopted in 1995 within the framework of the Basel Convention. This law prohibits the export of asbestos from member countries of the European Union. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and from Liechtenstein to any other country.

On the other hand, in other countries of the world, such as India. For example, there is still today massive use of friable asbestos in the context of the manufacture of seals, clothing, fittings, insulating products, brakes, and other exported products, without the information being communicated to the importing countries. If the use of asbestos is still so frequent in India, it is, among other things. Because there are still no real penalties imposed in the event of non-compliance with the regulations.

Efforts are constantly being made to ensure that within the Convention. A three-quarters majority is sufficient for consensus to be recognize. These efforts have already borne fruit in many developing countries. Let us, therefore, remain optimistic and hope that things will continue to go in this direction. Using political pressure, making it possible to ensure that the situation in certain countries approaches that which USA or other European countries are experiencing today. !

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