Renewable Matter # 3 / April

A Recurring Health Menace

by Stefano Ciafani

This is not about renewable matter, but a serious menace to human health which renews itself over time. It is the killer fibre of asbestos – which is still known as Eternit thanks to the patent name of the Casale Monferrato company. Clean-ups go ahead very slowly and the risk does not diminish. This was the theme of the latest report by Legambiente, presented on World Day for Victims of Asbestos (28th April): it is necessary to halt this serious emergency which, every year, causes the death of over 4,000 people in Italy, due to asbestos linked diseases, and was responsible for over 15,000 cases of malign mesothelioma between 1993 and 2008 (INAIL National Registry of Mesothelioma). 


Twenty-three years after being banned, asbestos is still very much present, in various forms, on Italian territory: CNR and INAIL have given the rough estimate of about 32 million tonnes. Although Law 257/1992 established regional asbestos plans to be produced within 180 days from its publication, as of today six regions still need to approve them. Meanwhile the...

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