Environment Secretary follows SP advice: Asbestos reporting facility opened

13 March 2006

Environment Secretary follows SP advice: Asbestos reporting facility opened

Secretary of State for the Environment Pieter van Geel has promised that during the spring a central reporting point for asbestos will be opened, as recommended by the SP, which has been actively involved in asbestos-related issues since the beginning of the 1970s and has long experience of the problems involved when it comes to communication of its presence and dangers.

Research has revealed the presence of asbestos on 70% of Dutch farms. Asbestos is also to be found in many houses and apartments built in the years following the Second World War, in particular in gable coverings, pipes and insulation. Almost everyone knows that asbestos is dangerous, but few know just what you should do if you come across it. Mr Van Geel is following the advice of SP Member of Parliament Krista van Velzen, who has worked for many years on the issues surrounding asbestos contamination, health risks deriving from it and the decontamination of affected areas and buildings. She recommended, among other things, that an extensive investigation be carried out into asbestos contamination and that a central reporting and advice point should be opened.

"KristaMs Van Velzen said that she was delighted that Mr Van Geel had taken her suggestions to heart, but noted that he had left one important task undone: calling asbestos-producer Eternit to account. Van Velzen argues that as the firm responsible for the contamination, Eternit should pay for the cleaning up of ground, roads and paths. The company for many years gave away asbestos-containing waste which was used to pave roads, paths and yards, as a result of which very large areas were contaminated with carcinogenic material. Eternit continued to do this long after the health risks were made known.

You are here