Asbestos Ban In The Netherlands

The Netherlands has ordered all asbestos roofs to be removed by 2024. Since the ban of asbestos 22 years ago, officials have continued to eliminate the dangerous material from the country’s infrastructures. But most recently  they have set a strict deadline, all asbestos roofing must be removed by January 1, 2024, giving homeowners and officials just over 7 years to get the job done.

The ban of asbestos roofing only applies to the exterior asbestos containing materials such as corrugated sheets and slate roof. It is the hopes that the ban will prevent exposure among citizens. Wilma Mansveld, the former Undersecretary for Infrastructure and Environment cites deteriorating roofs and recent fires for the banning of asbestos material. In fact, there has been a slew of recent fires which have caused asbestos particles to end up in residential areas. This combined with inclement weather such as hail or high winds also leads to the deterioration and overtime spread of this toxic material.

Mansveld also adds “we have to take this risk seriously and tackle it. I want to prevent people from being exposed to asbestos fibers”. One of the main concerns among Netherlands officials is that many of the residents don’t understand the dangers of this material. Some people believe that since asbestos was originally banned back in 1994 that asbestos is no longer a danger but they are wrong. The previous ban only applied to the trade, storage and use of asbestos, but the material was still common in older buildings.

Mesothelioma is a growing problem in the Netherlands, with a reported 481 deaths in 2010. It is believed that awareness of this disease and other asbestos related diseases is low in the Netherlands especially among young people. In fact, many young people don’t even know the signs of asbestos or how to identify it. One of the fears is that many residents do not bother to find out if their home is contaminated and when they do find out they are more concerned about the cost of removing it than the potential hazards.

 

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