EARA's activities carried out during years 2013-14, a brief synopsis

The European Asbestos Risks Association (EARA) onlus is a non-profit organization founded January 9th, 2008 in Trieste. Among its main goals there is an information system network spread over a territory including Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Slovenia, Istria and Gorski-Kotar Counties in Croatia, with a view on cross-border policies aimed to pursue – through a process of awareness – the improvement of the quality of life of exposed to asbestos, whether employees, former employees, family members and citizens in general, with special attention to other risk factors for the Protection of health, and in a context of cooperation and integration in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity – pillar of the EU enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights – encouraging scientific and medical research on asbestos-related diseases.
In these last two years, in addition to partecipating in the ABClean project, EARA organized a series of important events to help dissemination, expecially in schools, on the issue at hand, as follows:
Trieste, Saturday, January 19th 2013, Shipping Station Congress Centre. Legal conference on ‘A national attorney for asbestos and other environmental hazards’. The event, which had a great media feedback at the regional level, was honored by the participation of Dr. Raffaele Guariniello, public prosecutor of Turin in the historic trial of 2012 against the leaders of Eternit (Casale Monferrato); general prosecutors Mrs. Caterina Aiello (Gorizia) and Dr. Michele Dalla Costa (Trieste); dr. Valentino Patussi, head of SCPSAL -ASS. n. 1 of Trieste, and Att. Maria Genovese (Kostoris & Associates Law Firm). Moderator: dr. Giampiero Rossi, journalist of Corriere della Sera and author of the book ‘Asbestos, a trial against factories of death’.
Kostrena (Rijeka, Croatia ), Sunday, April 28th 2013 at National Lecture Room. International meeting/panel discussion on the VIII World Day for the Victims of Asbestos and the International Day of Health and safety at work, in collaboration with NGO partners of Ekokvarner Njivice (Island of Krk). In addition to an EARA delegation, some members of the local public Kvarner and Gorski Kotar County and of the Croatian Parliament (MP Nansi Tirelli) participated to the event.
Pordenone, May 10th 2013, High School ‘E. Vendramini’ auditorium. Performance of ‘Asbestos without borders’, by Sabrina Morena, starring Giustina Testa. Over a hundred and fifty students from all four high schools accompanied by their teachers watched the show, which tells the history of asbestos production in Europe, the lethal effects on workers in the quarries, factories, construction sites and the population living in surrounding areas. It highlights the shameful blindness and silence of all those who shut their eyes when confronted with the negative data from the analysis on asbestos. With irony and sarcasm it describes the cynicism of those who, despite all evidence of toxicity of the substance, continued to produce and sell the products, polluting the environment. It exalts the battle for health and information that have been made and announced those who are still to be done. The story focuses on the territories and the situations dealing with EARA’s member associations, namely Slovenia, Croatia, and of course Friuli Venezia Giulia with its capital, Trieste, its citizens, its employees, its associations that are fighting for the protection of the environment.
Udine, Friday, September 13th 2013 at Palace D’Aronco, seat of the local Town Hall, encounter with the mayor prof. Furio Honsell, the municipal assessor for Health and Social Policies Mrs. Simona Liguori, and a EARA delegation (President Tomatis and vicepresident Dreossi), who presented the activities of our association and the operative program for 2013-14.
Nova Gorica, Slovenia, Friday, December 20th 2013, Conference Hall of the Chamber of Commerce and Crafts. Seminar on ‘Strengthening the immunity system of people’ for students of secondary schools, with a report of Dr. Alenka Kafol, allergist and pneumologist. The mission is to improve the quality of life against risks of asbestos exposure. The event was attended by the Slovenian MEP Ivo Vaigl, who held a short speech. A lecture in Slovenian language of ‘Azbest Brez meja – Asbestos without borders’ show, by Sabrina Morena and production of Teatro Stabile Sloveno SSG di Trieste) was performed with an excellent interpretation by actress Nikla Petruška Panizon.
Pordenone, Friday, February 21st, 2014, III Congress ‘Asbestos, state of the art’. After the successful experience in Udine (2012), EARA has chosen the city of Pordenone to organize the third edition of the biennial convention ‘Asbestos, state of the art ‘. The main theme of the conference was to stress on the best actions to promote primary prevention or remediation of asbestos in polluted sites (see the problem of Cellina-Meduna river’s bed, the roofs of several abandoned industrial buildings, and more) with contributions by leading experts, involving representatives of the local authorities concerned to apply ‘best practices’ for the clean-up of public and private sites.
The conference, held at the prestigious council chamber of the Province of Pordenone, saw the presence of nearly eighty students from two senior high schools of the city, the ITS ‘S. Pertini’ and I.T.S. Innovation ‘J. F. Kennedy’, accompanied by their teachers. At the end of the conference, the moderator gathered all four speakers at the table and started an interesting debate involving the public, especially students: some of them took the opportunity to ask several questions, especially on modern techniques of neutralization described, with related systems, costs and reuse of old material, and its transformation into new products.