Global use of asbestos

Asbestos is still used around the world, if these countries do not ban asbestos Mesothelioma and asbestos related disease will continue to increase.

Last Updated on February 3, 2015 by neilhardy

An International Mesothelioma crisis is predicted if widespread use of asbestos is continued globally.

Asbestos is used worldwide for a number of reasons, such as the strengthening fire proof products and in construction. It is exclusively linked to the lung disease Mesothelioma. If countries around the world continue to use asbestos at the rate they currently are, Mesothelioma will increase due to increased exposure to the dangerous fibres.

Asbestos was banned in the UK in the year 2000, but it is still legal and being used today in developing countries as well as the US. Asbestos is still used in construction, steel and mining industries and by the military in the US.

Asbestos is only banned in 55 countries, so only around 1.1bn people, or 16% of the world’s population is protected from asbestos, despite being heavily publicised of the dangers and health risk relating to it.

The majority of the world’s population, but mainly developing countries, are still at risk from asbestos and its health implications as the governments refuse to ban the material. In Vietnam the asbestos industry is profitable and succeeds in pressuring the government to continue the use of the deadly substance.

The countries that have not banned asbestos underestimate the amount of deaths that can be caused- as a register is not kept and Mesothelioma is not well known at a global level. Many of the developing countries that still use asbestos do not have sufficient studies in place linking asbestos to cancer and disease.

In Indonesia, asbestos is not banned as they do not have any confirmed death or disease from exposure to asbestos. It was said by the Ministry of Health that it is down to 3 reasons; asbestos is not harmful to health, Indonesians are genetically immune to asbestos or they do not have the correct knowledge to diagnose Mesothelioma or asbestos related disease.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) state that 100,000 people die annually due to asbestos related disease.

Asbestos use is still growing around the world. 1.9million tonnes were mined for commercial use with Russia leading. Manufacturing countries ignore health threats to mass produce affordable asbestos containing materials as a way to make money for the county.

Asbestos is still used extensively in Asia, Africa and South America. In a US geological survey about asbestos consumption it showed that the world highest asbestos use was by China at 531000 metric tonnes, followed by India with 473000.

These counties lack studies into Mesothelioma and asbestos related diseases and underestimate the diagnosis of Mesothelioma and death. The have little knowledge of and do not study Mesothelioma.

The highest Mesothelioma cases come from the UK and Australia both of which countries take part into studies of asbestos related disease and have now banned asbestos. Although asbestos use has stopped we will still see the disease for years to come due to a long period between expose and diagnosis.

At Armco we offer comprehensive asbestos awareness, working with non-licensed asbestos, face fit testing and online training at out office in Bury, Manchester or at a location convenient to you. We also have over 15 years surveying experience, specialising in Asbestos management and refurbishment or demolition surveys in and around Manchester and nationwide. Visit out Training and surveying websites.

Published Feb 03, 2015

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