In 2010, the 53 WHO member states in the Europe region had undertaken to establish, by the end of 2015, legislation to eliminate asbestos-related diseases. But it can be observed at present that 15 countries have still not prohibited the use of all forms of asbestos. The countries in question are mostly former Soviet Republics where asbestos is used in building materials. Accordingly, of the 900 million Europeans, about 300 million are estimated to be exposed (in their work environment and in the natural environment) to the deadly fibre.
“It is unacceptable for us to lose around 15,000 lives in Europe each year, mostly workers, due to diseases caused by exposure to asbestos” said Ms Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe, when presenting the report. “We exhort every country to fulfil the commitments undertaken in 2010 and to produce by the end of the year policies that will make it possible to eliminate asbestos-related diseases in Europe,” she added.