Despite the fact that the production and installation of asbestos has been prohibited since 1992 (Law No. 257 of 27 March 1992), it is still widely present in Italy. The ONA (National Asbestos Observatory) estimates a presence on the national territory of 40 million tons of materials containing asbestos yet to be reclaimed and disposed of.
- What is asbestos and why is it dangerous
Asbestos is a set of minerals with a fibrous structure composed of silicate of magnesium, calcium and iron. Already known in ancient times, asbestos is a very resistant material, fireproof, insulating and flexible and it is precisely because of these characteristics that it has been widely used in construction (from pipes, sheets, panels to boilers, flues, water tanks).
During the eighties some epidemiological studies, however, have shown that the fibers from which asbestos is composed, once dispersed into the air, can be the cause of serious diseases such as pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer. The more friable and damaged asbestos is, the more dangerous it is..
- Types of reclamation and who can carry it outThe
reclamation and transport of asbestos can only be carried out by a specialized company registered in the Register of Environmental Managers and performed by qualified operators equipped with personal protective equipment. There are three different possibilities of intervention, according to the different needs:
1) Removal of asbestos materials
This is the most dangerous procedure for qualified operators, but it is also the most widespread, because it eliminates all potential sources of exposure, both to humans and to the surrounding environment.
This involves treating asbestos with penetrating or covering products that tend to encapsulate the asbestos fibres and form a protective film on the exposed surface.
This consists of installing a tight barrier separating the asbestos from other areas of the building. Usually associated with an encapsulating treatment, otherwise there is a risk that the release of fibres will continue within the confinement.
To see a Europe without asbestos we must wait until 2028, the deadline set by the European Union. For the removal and disposal of asbestos there are some tax breaks for companies, public bodies and private citizens, such as the Bonus Asbestos, specifically for companies, and the Ecobonus 110%, which is also available to individuals.
You too can contribute to the Zero Asbestos goal for a healthier environment for all.