According to a statement released by Turkey’s Environment Management Directorate-General, all uses of asbestos were officially banned on Friday, Dec. 31, 2010.
Although asbestos was already partially banned, the move to completely ban asbestos has enabled Turkey to fully abide by European Union (EU) regulations. Turkey’s new regulation will ban the use of asbestos in production of any goods and supply of products containing asbestos.
While many countries have issued regulations concerning the use of asbestos, fewer countries have banned the toxic mineral altogether. Asbestos exposure has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including lung cancer, asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. Even though exposure to asbestos does not typically present immediate side effects, health issues should remain a concern as symptoms of mesothelioma may take as long as 50 years to arise.
According to the statement, “The ban on use of asbestos will both eliminate diseases stemming from the substance and end emission of asbestos to the environment.” The EU has banned all use of asbestos and extraction, manufacture and processing of asbestos products.
The naturally occurring mineral asbestos was incorporated into thousands of products up until regulations began limiting its use during the 1970s and 80s. Products that typically contained asbestos included construction materials such as insulation, roofing shingles, flooring and ceiling tiles, drywall and cement products.
Asbestos was primarily used for its ability to insulate and fireproof products. In addition, asbestos was affordable and readily available. Industries that made the largest use of the mineral included the construction, shipyard, manufacturing and automotive industry.