Multiple news outlets are reporting that Turkey will ban all production, use and supply of asbestos as of Friday. Asbestos has been partially banned in Turkey for some time now, but the country’s Environment Management Directorate General released a statement saying that the new directorate will abide by European Union (EU) regulations and fully ban the material.
The official statement says the asbestos ban will “both eliminate diseases stemming from the substance and end emission of asbestos to the environment.” When asbestos-containing products are damaged or disturbed, asbestos fibers can be released and inhaled, which can lead to serious health problems and illnesses such as malignant lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
The BAN! team wants to acknowledge Turkey for joining a group of more than 50 countries that have banned the production and use of asbestos in all its forms. Despite all that is known about the dangerous and adverse health effects of asbestos, most of the world’s people still live in countries where asbestos use continues, usually with few safeguards. These regulations take a stand against such hazardous and oftentimes needless practices.
The United States is among the countries that have yet to ban asbestos. Unfortunately, many Americans equate “asbestos” with the large number of mesothelioma lawsuits that have been filed against manufacturers rather than a very real danger that surrounds many of us every day.
We need to use Turkey and the other countries that have banned asbestos as an example of the opportunity we have to follow their lead, take action and make this country a better, safer place for all. Please take a moment to sign our letter to Congress on the Ban Asbestos Now homepage and help make a difference today.