Asbestos, a carcinogenic silicate material, continues to threaten the public health nine years after it was banned, said Turkey’s Chamber of Geological Engineers.
“Despite the ban, the asbestos that was already in circulation continues to exist in different forms and the daily use of these products causes the exposure to anthropocentric asbestos to pose a risk to public health,” said the statement by the Chamber.
Triggers cancer cases
The Chamber noted that a miscommunication between the Health Ministry, The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services has caused a failure to apply the Asbestos Procedure, and added that asbestos is still used in industries like construction, textile, aviation and automotive.
“Many residential areas are built on asbestos soil, tens of thousands of people are still in contact with asbestos and we will see more cancer cases in years to come for as long as this continues,” the chamber declared.
Demolitions are still a threat
The Chamber also noted that asbestos still poses a risk in demolitions since the correct procedures aren’t being applied.
“The Demolition Procedure of 2012 hasn’t been finalized by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, so the asbestos risk in demolitions still applies,” noted the statement made by the Chamber.
The statement by the Chamber noted that cancer can show up 10 to 40 years after exposure, which is why preventative measures must be taken immediately.
“Asbestos bans are not enough along to protect the well-being of the public, the environment or workers. Preventative and protective measures must be taken against the asbestos risk we face daily,” the Chamber noted.
A holistic approach needed
An extensive and holistic approach must be developed to combat asbestos, the Chamber added and suggested that a platform be formed to include relative public institutions, Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects and victims of asbestos.
“This platform must turn combatting the risks of asbestos into government policy,” the Chamber said.
The Chamber also said that a regimentation of asbestos risks for imports, exports and the industry.