Jukka Takala, Keynote Speaker

Professor Jukka Takala is renowned for his many contributions to the sciences of occupational health, specifically occupational diseases, and occupational ergonomics. With an illustrious career of four decades serving the Ministry of Social Affairs in Finland, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the EU, the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore etc., he is now the President of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH). He is also a DSc, MSc and Fellow of Faculty of Occupational Medicine (Hon.) of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland.

For his Keynote Speech, Jukka Takala will discuss the size and impact of the asbestos disaster: globally, in Europe and in the U.K. Past and present exposures affecting present and future negative outcomes including death, disease and disability. He will also explain the poor understanding of the long latency problem by policy makers, employers and even the potential victims themselves. Last but not least, he will discuss proposals for eliminating occupational cancer caused and other diseases caused by asbestos.

Sean Fitzgerald

Sean Fitzgerald has decades of experience in the field of mineralogy, microscopy and spectroscopy. With his added knowledge as a research geologist and research in soils, there is little Sean doesn’t know about asbestos. He recently developed a new, definitive microscopy technique to positively identify asbestos in talc products, such as the Claire’s make-up drama. Sean is also a globally recognised conference speaker and expert witness on asbestos in court cases.

Sean will explain to us when a mineral is asbestos; and when not; and how for instance to tell the difficult difference between asbestos and talc fibres. Surprisingly, there is rather more to this than one would think!

Arthur Frank

Professor Arthur Frank MD Ph.D. is trained as an occupational physician with a special interest in occupational cancers and occupational lung diseases, especially those caused by asbestos in all settings. Also holding a Ph.D relating to asbestos diseases, he has worked internationally and for more than fifty years has studied issues about asbestos. He has worked his whole career as an academic physician, receiving many honours and awards for his contributions to the scientific understanding of asbestos diseases, e.g. the Collegium Ramazzini Award. He is globally recognised for his ceaseless expert work to raise awareness of asbestos health dangers.

Gerrie van Beljouw

Gerrie van Beljouw is a mechanical engineer and has been the Owner of an asbestos removal company in Uden (the Netherlands) since 1991. He is a board member at trade association VVTB and uses his technical knowledge to make asbestos remediation safer and more efficient through innovation. For example, he has developed an asbestos separator for cleaning soil and debris and has shown through his own research that clean areas of airlocks and decos are not always clean. These findings have led to changes in the flushing and comfort requirements in the Dutch remediation guidelines.

In his presentation, he will demonstrate how various procedures lead to inefficient remediation and entail unnecessary risks to the health and safety of remediators and the environment. This presentation is a plea for a more critical view of asbestos removal, actual testing of assumptions and an increase of knowledge concerning fluid mechanics and physics of small particles within the asbestos removal sector.

Gerrie will present his speech both on behalf of his own company and on behalf of the Dutch association of asbestos remediation companies, the VVTB.

Phil Cleary

Phil Cleary graduated as a computer engineer before joining the police service, where he worked as Detective raising to senior officer rank. He started SmartWater in 1996 and was formally recognised as an award-winning entrepreneur, resulting in him being invited to join the Royal Society of Arts as Fellow. SmartWater is, essentially, an unvisible and indestructable, super-tech tracking product that can identify and authenticate anything, anywhere.

Working in partnership with Soteria Group, using the SmartWater unique forensic liquid datasets and their Smart App, together they have created the ability to establish the absolute provenance of asbestos waste, when treated with the ground-breaking Capsure™ products. SmartWater is the most highly accredited forensic company of its type in the world.

Obviously, Phil will explain the properties of SmartWater and how, amongst other very interesting aspects, it will make and end to illegal asbestos dumping in woods and ditches.

Lloyd Ludlow

Lloyd Ludlow has 35 years experience in the deconstruction, demolition, environmental recycling and decontamination industries, including projects overseas and in the USA for the United States Federal Government. These years of experience coupled with recognizing the need for innovation and improvements in particulate encapsulation have led to the development of the CapSure range of products for the safe removal of asbestos and bitumen.

In his presentation, Lloyd will explain about the need for an evolution of hazardous particulate encapsulation and traceability of asbestos waste. The CapSure product range incorporates a unique super-tech tracer of organic tracer elements for ‘cradle to grave’ accountability, which will make asbestos dumping in woods and ditches a thing of the past.

Simon Schneebeli

Simon Schneebeli has a particular eye for innovation, creation and new challenges. With a background in civil engineering, an MBA in entrepreneurship and business development and training in organisational development, he is an all-rounder. Simon has worked since many years in the sector of asbestos and toxic building materials. He is co-founder and former vice-president member of the Swiss Association of Asbestos Consultants and currently directs the Swiss centre for training in toxic building materials Bilbau.ch.

Simon believes in the importance of hard work and continuous improvement, but most importantly a positive and supporting attitude towards the people with whom he collaborates. He brings these qualities to his presentation: How to promote innovation in the field of toxic building materials.

Graham Gould

Graham Gould is an experienced businessman and entrepreneur who was introduced to Thermal Recycling by the investors in the business.  He successfully built an international strategy consultancy where he was responsible for advising the senior management of many domestic and global businesses. He also has extensive experience in the property sector where he managed property investment funds and ran a property asset management business.

In his presentation, Graham will discuss how Thermal Recycling is preparing to open a demonstration plant that showcases its innovative technology for denaturing asbestos.  This plant will have a capacity of about 4,000 tonnes.  What are some of the challenges of establishing a pioneering new business which eradicates asbestos, rather than buries it in the ground?

Huig Bergsma

Huig Bergsma is a professional geochemical engineer trained at the University of Utrecht. He has worked for Geochem Research, ARCADIS and is now a self-employed specialist at BodemBergsma. His main field of interest is the natural or artificially enhanced weathering of silicate minerals as a tool to capture carbon dioxide.

In his presentation on behalf of Asbetter Acids, Huig will explain an exciting and commercially viable Dutch technology that will reduce waste acids, reduce CO2 and even completely denaturise asbestos unto harmless dust.

Sven de Mulder

As leader of the project that aims to reduce the presence of asbestos in Flanders (the Northern part of Belgium), Sven de Mulder helps to make Flanders asbestos-safe. What a wonderful, huge and responsible job! The project aims to have asbestos containing materials surveyed per building or location, after which they will be removed at an accelerated speed –  but safely – no later than 2040.

In his presentation, Sven will discuss a number of the insights and also obstacles which have emerged and need to be overcome in order to achieve an asbestos-safe Flanders.