Asbestos is a mineral that has excellent properties for construction purposes and has therfore been used frequently up to 1994 in The Netherlands. When disturbed, asbestos releases airborne fibres which can kill


General information related to asbestos

Asbestos mining
Asbestos are natural silicates that are composed of microscopic fibers. In 2009 world production was 2 million tonnes. Russia produced about 50%, followed by China (14%), Brazil (12.5%), Kazakhstan (10.5%) and Canada (9%).


Use of asbestos
Asbestos has been applied in more than 3000 products. In the '60s, '70s and '80s it was frequently used as a construction component in buildings and property. Applications include vinyl floor tiles, sheeting, adhesives, roofing tars, felts, siding and shingles. Other: brake pads, fire blankets, interior fire doors, fireproof clothing for firefighters, thermal pipe insulation, drywall and joint compound, plaster, drilling fluid additives and dental cast linings.
Public health
When disturbed, asbestos can release airborne fibers that can cause diseases and ultimately death. Mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural plaques are the most common diseases that can develop tens of years years after exposure.

Asbestgevaar Volksgezondheid

Asbestos legislation in The Netherlands
In The Netherlands the "asbestbesluit" was enforced in 1977. In 1978 crocidolite, mostly used as "spuitasbest" was banned . "Non-glued" asbestos were forbidden since 1983 and from 1993 onwards a total ban on asbestos was issued.
Since the "Asbestos-act" 2005 authorities require an asbestos survey when applying for a demolition permit. In 2012 the permit system has been transformed to a notification system.


Asbestos victims
Ministery of Environment
Government of the Netherlands

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Did you know ...

Natural outdoor asbestos fiber concentrations range from 20-40 fibers per m³. In the '80's these concentrations were higher: 100-1000 fibers per m³ with occasional levels up to tens of thousands fibers per m³ in the surroundings of asbestos sources (like traffic).