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CLR Report

CLR Study 7 - The long and winding road to an asbestos free workplace


Authors: Jan Cremers, Rolf Gehring

Although there are several topical asbestos related incidents that could be used as an argument – an outburst of public anger after the ‘discovery’ of asbestos polluted social housing, the spectacular Turin trial against some captains of industry that were sentenced for knowingly exposing their workforce for decades to the killing fibre or the alarming reports of an annual death rate among teachers that are working in asbestos containing public schools – the driving thoughts behind CLR Studies 7 are of a more pragmatic nature.

The aim is to document, with a wide range of contributions written by outstanding experts, that asbestos is still with us and that there is no reason to lean back. Because this is exactly what has happened in the last decade.

The EU-wide ban is not the end of a hazardous story; it is one of the necessary steps to protect workers and citizens against the fatal consequences of the use of a mineral fibre that started as the eternal, global insulation champion.

The ban needs to be complemented with pro-active inspection, identification and mapping of contamination. Training and qualification are decisive steps for a controlled and responsible phasing out of asbestos containing products. In some countries victims still have to follow complicated and dismissive procedures on their way to find justice. And, last but not least, asbestos is still carried around the globe.