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Is Asbestos Banned in My Country?

Although asbestos is strictly regulated in the U.S., it is not banned. The same is true for countries like Canada, China, India, Mexico, and Russia. In fact, of the more than 250 countries, territories, colonies, and dependencies around the world, just 59 have bans on all types of asbestos. The reasons most countries have not passed laws that completely ban asbestos are unclear, but because of its continued use, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized asbestos as one of the most important occupational carcinogens in the world. The organization also says the burden of asbestos-related disease is rising.

WHO reports that as many as 43,000 people worldwide die from asbestos-related disease each year, with around 10,000 new mesothelioma cases reported annually in Australia, Japan, North America, and Western Europe combined. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that during 1999–2015, a total of 45,221 malignant mesothelioma deaths were reported, increasing from 2,479 (1999) to 2,597 (2015). Says the CDC, “continuing occurrence of malignant mesothelioma deaths in persons aged <55 years suggests ongoing inhalation exposure to asbestos fibers and possibly other causative elongate mineral particles (EMPs).”

The CDC also explains that despite past projections, the number of malignant mesothelioma deaths has been increasing. “The continuing occurrence of mesothelioma deaths particularly among younger populations,” says the CDC “underscores the need for maintaining efforts to prevent exposure and for ongoing surveillance to monitor temporal trends.”

The International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS) has compiled a list of countries that have banned the use of all types of asbestos. Check the list below to find out if your country has banned the use of all types of asbestos. The IBAS list is current as of February 18, 2017.

National Asbestos Bans

Algeria                                   

Argentina                   

Australia                                

Austria

Bahrain                                  

Belgium                     

Brunei                                    

Bulgaria                     

Chile                                       

Croatia                       

Cyprus                                    

Czech Republic           

Denmark

Egypt                                      

Estonia           

Finland                                               

France                        

Gabon                                    

Germany

Gibraltar                                

Greece

Honduras        

Hungary                      

Iceland                                   

Iraq                                         

Ireland

Israel                                      

Italy                            

Japan                                      

Jordan            

Kuwait

Latvia                                     

Lithuania                    

Luxembourg                           

Malta 

Mauritius

Mozambique                          

Netherlands               

New Caledonia                      

New Zealand

Norway                                  

Oman

Poland                                    

Portugal                     

Qatar                                      

Romania                                

Saudi Arabia

Serbia                                     

Seychelles                  

Slovakia                                  

Slovenia         

South Africa   

South Korea               

Spain                          

Sweden                                  

Switzerland                

Turkey                                    

UK

Uruguay


Sources

"Bulletin of the World Health Organization." WHO. World Health Organization (WHO), 13 June 2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

"Countries of the World." Fact Monster. Sandbox Networks, Inc., Publishing as Fact Monster, 2000-2017. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

Kazan-Allen, Laurie. "Current Asbestos Bans and Restrictions." International Ban Asbestos Secretariat. IBAS, 18 Feb. 2017. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

"Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 02 Mar. 2017. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.