The European Commission (EC) is considering an EU-wide ban on white asbestos (chrysotile), according to EU industry commissioner Martin Bangemann. Mr. Bangemann is quoted in the EC’s July meeting notes as saying that, “The Commission is preparing a draft proposal for a European-wide ban on the marketing and use of chrysotile asbestos and asbestos-containing products.” However, at a meeting earlier this year,
Greece, Spain and expressed opposition to a complete ban, about which Mr. Bangemann noted that, “some exceptions and temporary derogations” may be necessary to get a ban passed. Portugal
Currently, eight of the 15 EU member-states have banned chrysotile asbestos.
Britain last week announced it too was considering a ban: members of the construction workers union protested outside the UK Health and Safety Commission, calling for an immediate ban on the use of chrysotile asbestos. UK
The UK Health and Safety Commission will next month release a consultation paper proposing the ban on the supply, use and importation of chrysotile asbestos beginning in 2001. The Commission’s proposals are intended to “strengthen the existing legal duty to prevent exposure where reasonably practicable,” and would “significantly reduce future potential for asbestos related disease.” Upon release, the proposals will be subject to a three-month consultation period.
“EU drafting ban on white asbestos,
Canada wary,” REUTERS, August 20, 1998; “Ban on use of asbestos comes closer,” FINANCIAL TIMES, August 19, 1998; “ Canada threatens asbestos war with ,” ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE, August 21, 1998 UK
Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD).24th August 1998