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March in Review

March in Review

Here’s a roundup of March’s big talking points from the world of Asbestos.

Colombia Preparing for Asbestos Ban

Following 1,700 deaths in the last 50 years due to mesothelioma, Columbia are readying for a complete ban on asbestos.  After 12 years of fighting for this ban, campaigners finally got their wish last Summer, as House of Representatives voted unanimously to stop asbestos use, mining and export.

Columbia is one of just seven countries to now institute a complete ban on the production, distribution and commercialization of the substance. Journalist Ana Cecilia was diagnosed with mesothelioma due to exposure from a nearby factory, her and her husband then used her media following to push the campaign forward and produced a documentary about the disease. 


Asbestos Found in Ireland’s Water Pipes

Over 500km of water pipes in Ireland have to be found contain asbestos due to the cement used in Irish construction up to the 1980s. Despite asbestos being known to cause harm if inhaled, Irish Water has denied that this is the case if you consume it through drinking-water.

The county of Cork has the most of these asbestos pipes with 22% found there, which is almost double that of Dublin. With other large amounts found in Donegal, Tipperary and Kerry, Irish water have been unable to say if any of these have burst in recent years.

Environmental scientist Jack O’Sullivan said, “I would say the most important thing Irish Water should do and should do this quite quickly… is to carry out a risk assessment of the structural integrity of those pipes”.

Irish water used the World Health Organisation (WHO) to defend themselves as the health regulator says that asbestos can cause cancer if inhaled, but not if ingested through drinking-water.


Amount of Asbestos Imported to The US Drops

According to the U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Commodity Summaries report that was released recently, the amount of raw asbestos that has been imported to the United States saw a large drop in 2019.

Last year they imported just 100 metric tonnes which is a significant drop compared to 681 metric tonnes in 2018 and is also the lowest number reported since records began in 1910. All of the imported asbestos went to the chloralkali industry which will be used as part of the process for making chlorine.

The report also stated that there was “a small but unknown amount of asbestos” that was imported to use in a range of products such as; vehicle friction items, brake blocks for the oil industry and materials used in the production of titanium dioxide.


Join us again next month for another round up of the month’s biggest asbestos stories.

You can find out more details on the above stories in the following articles:







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