18 Oct 2018
At OHSS Safety Consultants, we are on a mission to help to educate Irish business on the dangers of improper asbestos removal and the importance of adhering to all current asbestos regulations. As part of this ongoing quest, we keep a keen eye on news from the asbestos abatement world and this week a significant development on the continent caught our eye.
This week, some 22 years after banning the use of cancer causing asbestos in their nation’s construction and manufacturing industries, the Netherlands government has ordered that all roofs containing the hazardous material, must be removed by no later than 2024. The reason for the deadline being so far into the future is that it will take asbestos companies in the country a long time to fully eradicate asbestos from the millions of homes that still contain the substance.
David de Vreede, a technical advisor to the Dutch Group Committee for Asbestos Victims welcomed the move, but also conceded that this kind wholesale asbestos removal and disposal will take some time to achieve. The edict comes after the Netherlands was found to be something of a hotspot for deaths from the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma.
Those who are not so happy about the move are the building owners across the Netherlands who are responsible for meeting the cost of the removal, which in total is expected to cost as much as 4 billion Euros. There will be a degree of subsidy provided by the government, but special conditions must be met to qualify.
What needs to be highlighted to those in the Netherlands who are against the move is the inherent risk of leaving the roofs in place, as 30 years is the average lifespan of asbestos. With many roofs exceeding this mark already, the public at large could be at risk without even knowing.
Decisive action like this from the Dutch authorities should be applauded, as it seems to be acting with the needs of its population in mind. It will be a long and challenging process, but ultimately lives will be saved as a result.
This situation really highlights the dangers that still exist from asbestos, decades after its worldwide ban.
If you would like to find out more about what we do at OHSS, you can find out all you need to know on our website www.ohss.ie. Alternatively, should you need advice or guidance on asbestos related issues, call us now on 01 6905907.