The need for a European Asbestos Forum
Every country has asbestos problems. Yet many countries and sectors neglect to ask their neighbours and foreign colleagues for existing solutions, simply because they do not know their counterparts. Taking a different approach, the EAF focuses on the needs of professionals and encourages them to network and share across borders and sectors. Sharing the best innovations, the newest insights, the best practices. Learning from each other’s mistakes and successes. There is so much to share, too. Think of remediation, innovations, best practices, limit values, raising awareness and improving safety in the workplace, national and European policy, enforcement of and comparing regulations and legislation, effective court procedures, solutions to limitation of liability, medical treatments, epidemiology, environmental polution, eradication etc.
About the name
Why ‘European’? Because half of the world asbestos consumption is here. Because through harmonisation of European legislation, we may eventually strive towards a level playing field. That will surely be a good start; but the EAF is not exclusively about Europe. The EAF is willing to share with everybody, everywhere. Everybody has a right to a healthy future, that is the bottom line.
Why ‘Asbestos’? Because it causes the number one fatal occupational disease. Despite a Europe-wide ban on asbestos since 2005, according to the WHO, between 20,000 and 30,000 cases of asbestos-related diseases are recorded every year in the EU alone. More than 300,000 citizens are expected to die from mesothelioma by 2030 in the EU. That does not take into account asbestos related lung cancer, which will likely cause several times as many deaths; nor the long list of other asbestos related cancers. Essentially, this is an epidemic. Yet exposure to asbestos continues every day: occupationally, but also environmentally and residentially. Banning is only part of the solution.
Why ‘Forum’? Because in the Classic meaning, it refers to both the public place where people gather for councils and to the people who do so. You can be part of the Forum, too.
The European Asbestos Forum Foundation focuses on improving professional networks and exchanging the best and newest of knowledge regarding all matters related to asbestos, across borders and sectors. It aims, by raising awareness of asbestos dangers, to prevent the continuation and spread of asbestos-related disease and future suffering caused thereby. The foundation believes that such suffering is preventable and therefor needless, and that by means of international cooperation such suffering can and should be ended. Its motto: ‘Sharing makes us stronger’. For sharing networks and knowledge across borders and sectors will enable us to eradicate this blight from our environment.
Open Disclosure Statement
The foundation prizes its independence, neutrality and impartiality. It does not seek to represent any particular organisation nor to be influenced in its policy by any organisation through financial strings or other means. It derives its finances from kind donations and subscriptions to conferences and considers itself beholden to no one.