Campaign To Prevent Extension Of Use Of Asbestos-Containing Products In Europe

TUC And Others Call For Action On Plans

17.09.2014

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is calling on the public to respond to a public consultation in opposition to plans which would see the extension of regulations which mean that a product containing asbestos can continue to be imported into Europe.

While the manufacture, marketing and use of asbestos has been banned in Europe since the start of 2005, an exemption has been in place in relation to diaphragms used in chlorine production which contain asbestos fibres for electrolysis cells.

It is now believed the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency are considering extending this until 2025, with the so-called derogation referring to both the diaphragms and the asbestos fibres needed to maintain them.

While European authorities have claimed any risks to workers would be fully controlled, the TUC has joined forces with the European Trade Union Confederation and is calling on the public to provide responses to a public consultation in opposition to the plans.

The consultation which can be found on the European Commission website is set to run until September 19th.

Expert Opinion
The dangers of asbestos have now been known for decades, so it is incredibly worrying to see that the use of products containing the deadly material continues to be supported by authorities.

"Our work helping victims of asbestos-related disease and the families of those who have died because of such illnesses means that we have seen, first-hand, the huge toll that exposure to the hazardous substance can have.

"It is simply unacceptable that the use of equipment which contains asbestos continues to be supported in Europe or anywhere else across the world and we would urge anyone whose lives have been touched by the terrible legacy of the material to ensure their voices are heard on the matter."
Iain Shoolbred, Associate