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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Austrian and Other European Unions to Meet on Asbestos in May 2014

As described by Laurie Kazan-Allen in a February 19 entry at IBAS, May 14, 2014 is the date for various European unions to meet regarding asbestos. A web site page states the following regarding the meeting:

"The BWI is pleased to announce our international conference on asbestos to take place in Vienna on the 6th and 7th of May 2014.

Asbestos is the biggest industrial killer of all time, but it is still not banned worldwide. It kills thousands of people every week – every five minutes at least one person dies from asbestos diseases. Two million metric tons of asbestos are still being produced every year, and more than 90% of the production is used in cement products for the construction sector.

Even where asbestos has been banned, construction workers are still exposed to existing asbestos in buildings during maintenance, renovation and demolition work. Millions of tons of asbestos were used in buildings in industrialised countries in the past. Much of this asbestos is still there and it cannot be easily identified from its appearance. Workers and the community can be exposed to this asbestos and breathe it in without realising it.

The Building and Woodworkers International is committed to promote the elimination of the use of all kinds of asbestos and asbestos containing materials, and the elimination of diseases caused by exposure to asbestos.

This Conference aims to exchange experience and promote the objectives of the Global Asbestos Campaign:

1. The need to stop using asbestos world -wide as soon as possible

2. Alternatives to asbestos and transition of the asbestos cement industry to use alternative materials.

3. Prevention of exposure to installed asbestos

4. Supporting those affected by asbestos diseases

A range of trade unions are invited to participate: from producing and exporting countries, countries which still use a lot of asbestos, countries phasing out asbestos and countries who did use a lot of asbestos and have now banned all use.

Industriall Global Union, the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers, the Austrian trade Union GBH, and the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat are actively involved in this event."

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