Asbestos policy aimed at reducing health risks

Every year, there are roughly 1000 asbestos-related deaths in the Netherlands. The Dutch government's aim is to have no new asbestos-exposure victims by 2040. The government is establishing regulations to minimise the danger of asbestos.

Pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pneumoconiosis

Inhaling asbestos fibres can make you ill. It could take years before you suffer from any symptoms but you may eventually develop lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma or pneumoconiosis (asbestosis).

That is why the use of asbestos in new products has been prohibited in the Netherlands since 1994. Asbestos-exposure victims can apply for financial compensation.

Health risks related to asbestos roofs

Asbestos roofs are exposed to all weathers. Over the course of time they can be damaged, for example by wind, rain and hail. Sooner or later, asbestos fibres are released. If you inhale these fibres, they can be damaging to your health. That is why the government wants to ban asbestos roofs with effect from 2024. The Senate did not agree to this.

Leave asbestos alone, remove it yourself or have it removed?

Do you have a different type of asbestos-containing material like a pipe or window sill? Are the asbestos fibres still firmly bound within the material? And is the material undamaged? In that case, it may be safer to leave the asbestos undisturbed because it is during removal that asbestos fibres can be released.

Make sure that your asbestos-containing materials or asbestos products are undamaged. Take care not to damage them. For example, do not drill into them or break/demolish them, because asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening diseases when inhaled.

You can remove asbestos-containing material yourself as long as you comply with the requirements. But in most cases you need to hire a certified asbestos abatement company. For more information on what you should do, read the Step-by-step plan: what should I do if I discover asbestos?