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close this bookAsbestos Overview and Handling Recommendations (GTZ, 1996)
close this folderPart V Development of handling recommendations
close this folder2 Overview of rules of other donor organizations and financial institutions on the management of Asbestos problems
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.1 World bank
View the document2.2 International Asbestos association (IAA), Paris
View the document2.3 European bank for reconstruction and development (EBRD), London
View the document2.4 European investment bank (EIB)
View the document2.5 International bank for reconstruction and development (IBRD)
View the document2.6 Asian development bank Bangkok (ADB) - no guidelines
View the document2.7 African development bank, Nairobi
View the document2.8 UNEP - United Notions Environmental Program, Washington

2.1 World bank

The guidelines of the World Bank refer mainly to occupational protection in the manufacturing and processing of Asbestos, and contain recommendations on the quantitative determination of the concentration of Asbestos fibers in air.

In 1983 the Office for Environmental Affairs of the World Bank issued health and safety guidelines for mining and milling of Asbestos (Asbestos - Mining and Milling - Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines.)

These guidelines include:

a) control of emissions during mining of Asbestos,
b) control of emissions during the manufacturing of Asbestos;
c) exposure limits:
maximum of 2 x 10(6) Asbestos fibers over 5 ym in length per m³, 8 hour average value (referral is also made to the OSHA (US Occupational Health and Safety Agency) limit of 105 Asbestos fibers per m³ over 5 km in length),
d) administrative measures;
e) protective clothing and respiratory protection equipment;
f) occupational medical examinations;
g) regular training;
h) data on accidents and cases of illness.

The guidelines and recommendations of the World Bank on the handling of Asbestos in the processing industry, issued in 1984, include:

a) limits at the workplace for Asbestos fibers in the air: maximum of 2 fibers per cm³ > 5 mm;
b) training, in particular recommendation for a prohibition of smoking;
c) handling with protective clothing;
d) regular medical examinations.

For the determination of Asbestos fiber concentrations in the air, the guidelines of the World Bank from 1983 recommend contrast microscopy methods, which should be supplemented with electron microscopic investigations to identify and quantify the Asbestos fibers.

According to the presented results, projects on mining of Asbestos have not been financed in the past. Due to the generally recognized health hazards, the World Bank currently does not support the processing or use of Asbestos materials. This handling recommendation is compared with a risk estimation in individual cases, however. This means that projects are judged very reservedly, if Asbestos will be used under the hazard of fiber release.

In the end, however, the individual case is considered and judged on the basis of the danger estimation (single case decision). If there are deviations from general rules, the respective project manager has the jurisdiction to make a decision on financing based on criteria such as the availability of alternatives and the extent of the expected health hazard. The burden of proof lies with the applicant, who must prove that no economically sensible alternatives are possible.

If risk analyses are available, which are based on consideration of toxicity and emissions enabling the development of an investment portfolio, the additional costs for alternatives can also be calculated. The project managers are generally obligated to use such studies or to check their availability.

The Bank does not force the demolition of existing Asbestos containing building materials. This is particularly true when friable Asbestos is present. This is due to the extensive health hazards associated with Asbestos abatement in developing countries, which generally have a low standard of occupational protection measures. The Bank does not support the renewal of existing Asbestos cement drinking water pipes, since the risk of oral intake is considered low compared to the inhalative intake.

The World Bank supports the financing of projects in the following areas:

- Control and avoidance of health hazards from Asbestos
- Risk minimizing measures in existing Asbestos containing buildings, including their maintenance
- Safe disposal of Asbestos containing products
- Education and training with regard to safety measures.