Asbestos ban to take effect on Friday

December 30, 2010, Thursday/ 12:22:00

Turkey will ban production, use and supply of asbestos as of Friday, a related directorate said on Thursday.

Turkey's Environment Management Directorate General released a statement which said the regulation banning use of asbestos would take effect on Friday.

Asbestos was banned partially some time ago. It will totally be banned on Friday, thus Turkey will fully abide by European Union (EU) regulations.

The regulation will ban use of asbestos in production of any goods and supply of all products containing asbestos.

"The ban on use of asbestos will both eliminate diseases stemming from the substance and end emission of asbestos to the environment," the statement said.

The regulation was issued in the Official Gazette on August 29, 2010.

Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals exploited commercially for their desirable physical properties. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma (a formerly rare cancer strongly associated with exposure to amphibole asbestos), and asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis). The European Union has banned all use of asbestos[4] and extraction, manufacture and processing of asbestos products.

Asbestos became increasingly popular among manufacturers and builders in the late 19th century because of its sound absorption, average tensile strength, and its resistance to heat, electrical and chemical damage.

It has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Because of its fiber strength and heat resistant properties, asbestos has been used for a wide range of manufactured goods, mostly in building materials (roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement products), friction products (automobile clutch, brake, and transmission parts), heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets, and coatings.

When asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed by repair, remodeling or demolition activities, microscopic fibers become airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause significant health problems.