1722d Asbestos related diseases in europe: trends and perspectives

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SituationTo date Europe has consumed about 50% of the cumulative world asbestos production. Although 38 out of 53 European countries (72%) have banned asbestos, 300 million Europeans still live with a potential risk of exposure.Use and health outcomesEurope’s takes 65% share of the yearly world asbestos production and 30.7% share of consumption. A total of 30 000 to 47000 ARD fatalities are estimated to occur in Europe including about 50% of all occupational cancer deaths. In the asbestos banning countries the ARDs increase; the non-banning countries record lower ARD rates.Policies and practicesMany European countries prohibited crocidolite and asbestos spraying in the early 1970s. Total bans were launched in 9 countries in the 1980s and the 1990s. The EU launched in 1983 protective and in 1999 preventive policies against asbestos. The EU asbestos ban came into force in 2005. The banning terminated the use of new asbestos, but protection of asbestos demolition workers is still a great challenge for which the EU has provided stringent regulations and guides. Policies from the WHO Regional Office for Europe and ILO cover all the 53 countries, including the 15 non-banning countries. The ILO and WHO Euro have called all countries to draw up national asbestos profiles, national programmes for elimination of ARDs and their better registration.Proposals for further actionsInternational Organisations, Global Coalition, EU and countries could jointly work for:Pan–European ban of asbestosImplementing the ‘Freeing the EU from asbestos by 2030’ initiativeInformation and support for safe alternativesRegistration and labelling of sources, surveillance and registration of exposures and exposed workersGuidance in diagnosis and recognition of ARDsNational programmes for:Elimination of exposures and for demolitionElimination of ARDsCapacity building, information, awareness raising.

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