World Day for Asbestos Victims – Kostrena (Rijeka-Croatia)

On April 28, 2013 in Kostrena was celebrated the World Day for asbestos victims. The event was organized by the European Asbestos Risks Association, set up to fight against the use of asbestos, and by “Eko Kvarner”, which held a table round, with introductory report by Paolo Tomatis, EARA’s president. Tomatis presented the latest data on the number of patients suffering from various diseases caused by asbestos, mainly in Italy but also in Germany and France. From these data, with high probability, it can be argued that the peak of mortality not only among the workers, but also among the citizens, will occur between 2020 and 2030, and can be expected for some thousands of people who become ill, without considering the ones who will die (after a long illness, with great distress).

This statement can be made mainly for the statistics provided by the public health, which shows for all countries that the peak of mortality occurred decades after the official ban on the use of asbestos (in Italy in 1992, in Croatia in 2005.) Using the data of regional economies, we know that asbestos was used in a similar way in Italy as in Croatia (shipbuilding, constructions, etc.).

What we consider particularly tragic is that – with regard to the presence of asbestos in the environment – in Croatia there is still great ignorance that refers to this serious problem, because the contaminated industrial sites have not been cleared yet (and some are not available, such as the landfill from construction sites), mentioning also the attention to be paid to the enormous amount of asbestos on our roofs (most decaying because of their age and of weather conditions).

For all these reasons, it was decided today:

1) to propose the mapping of asbestos roofs of buildings in the GIS database, cataloging that was just made for the commissioning rule/remediation;

2) check the quality and the feasibility of a national action plan for the implementation of Croatian land clean-up due to the use of asbestos in the country;

3) Hon. Nansi Tirelli (Croatian Labour Party) which participated to the round table in Kostrena, will take the lead to start by autumn a debate in the relevant parliamentary committees on this great problem, preferably in the presence of ministers of Sabor.