ITALY: a research programme on asbestos costing more than €6 million

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As part of the national research plan 2016-2018, INAIL is promoting an innovative programme for the development of knowledge on workers exposed or formerly exposed to asbestos, for the improvement of healthcare protocols and for harmonization of the legislative framework. 

This three-year programme has a budget of €4.2 million, to which can be added more than €2 million to implement institutional research activities, including the epidemiological monitoring system for victims of mesothelioma via the national register (Renam). The three-year programme has four main objectives:

  • To provide new knowledge regarding the epidemiological profiles of workers exposed to asbestos before the ban on this mineral in 1992, thanks to administrative archives and databases, in order to classify subjects according to protection priority criteria while respecting equality of access to the health monitoring protocols.
  • To identify the sources (including invisible sources) of exposure to asbestos (processed or not) in order to provide scientific knowledge for risk assessment.
  • To analyse access to healthcare for patients suffering from asbestos-related diseases and develop psychological support tools for mesothelioma cases, and to provide tools for the detection of other asbestos-related cancers.
  • To analyse the extent of the inadequacy of the regulatory framework (areas which overlap one another or are not covered) in order to identify potential areas for harmonization between quality of life and occupational and environmental factors regarding asbestos removal and waste management.

According to Giuseppe Lucibello, Managing Director of INAIL, this programme represents an opportunity to acquire an “extraordinary wealth of knowledge for the purposes of care, prevention and protection of workers exposed to or suffering from asbestos. The €6 million or so planned over three years is in addition to the €83 million earmarked by the Bando Lsi for project financing, which represents the largest provision of funds by a national institute for the “management” of asbestos.”

Registro Nazionale dei Mesoteliomi -2015 (In Italian)

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