Cover Image
close this bookAsbestos Overview and Handling Recommendations (GTZ, 1996)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentPreface
close this folderPart I. Introduction
View the document1. Introduction
View the document2. Structure
View the document3. Definition of terms
close this folderPart II. Asbestos
close this folder1. Introductory part: Asbestos - Deposits, uses, types, characteristics
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View the document1.1 Types, deposits, and uses of Asbestos, chemical structure
View the document1.2 Mineralogical and mechanical properties of Asbestos
View the document1. 3 Analytical methods of determining Asbestos fibers
close this folder2. Legal regulations for the production, introduction to the market and use of Asbestos containing materials and Asbestos products
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View the document2.1 Federal Republic of Germany
View the document2.2 Directives of the European Community
View the document2.3 United States of America
View the document2.4 Standards in other countries (incl. developing countries)
View the document2. 5 International standards: International Labor Organization
close this folder3. Environmental aspects and health hazards due to Asbestos
View the document3.1 Introduction
View the document3.2 Asbestosis
View the document3.3 Mesothelioma
View the document3.4 Other health hazards
View the document3.5 Risk determination
close this folder4. Application areas of Asbestos materials and Asbestos products
View the document4. 1 Introduction
View the document4.2 The meaning of composite fibrous materials
View the document4.3 Asbestos in the building construction area
close this folder5. Occupational safety measures in handling Asbestos
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View the document5.1 Suitable fiber binding
View the document5.2 Wet operations
View the document5.3 Enclosure
View the document5.4 Vacuuming of dust near the point of origin
View the document5.5 Limiting the areas in which Asbestos dust may arise
View the document5.6 Personal respiratory protection
View the document5.7 Regular and thorough cleaning of workplaces
View the document5.8 Dust-free waste collection and landfill disposal
close this folder6 Aspects of Asbestos abatement and disposal of Asbestos containing materials
View the document(introduction...)
View the document6.1 Evaluation guidelines on the urgency of abatement
View the document6.2 Asbestos abatement techniques
View the document6.3 Disposal of Asbestos containing materials
close this folderPart III. Asbestos substitutes
View the document1. Technical requirements for Asbestos substitutes
View the document2 Properties of typical Asbestos fiber substitutes - Overview
close this folder3 Fiber substitutes for Asbestos fibers in the building area
View the document(introduction...)
View the document3.1 Non-textile fibers made of glass wool rock wool and mineral wool as well as ceramic wools
View the document3.2 Wollastonite
View the document3.3 Cellulose fibers
View the document3.4 Polyacrylnitril
View the document3.5 Polyvinylalcohol (PVA)
View the document3.6 Polypropylene (PP)
View the document3. 7 Summary
close this folder4 Fiber-free substitutes in construction area
View the document4.1 Fiber-free substitutes in housing construction
View the document4.2 Fiber-free substitutes in water mains construction
close this folderPart IV Country analysis
View the document1. Introduction
View the document2 Asbestos in developing countries
View the document3 Use and effects of Asbestos cements in developing countries
close this folder4 Country profiles
View the document4.1 Australia
View the document4.2 Chile
View the document4.3 Republic of China
View the document4.4 India
View the document4.5 Israel
View the document4.6 South Africa
View the document4.7 Tunisia
View the document4.8 USA
close this folder5 Summary
View the document5.1 Economic Implication
View the document5.2 Legislation
View the document5.3 Research and Development
View the document5.4 Substitutes
View the document5.5 Risk philosophy
close this folderPart V Development of handling recommendations
View the document1. Introduction.
close this folder2 Overview of rules of other donor organizations and financial institutions on the management of Asbestos problems
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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
View the document3 Risk philosophy
View the document4 Design of a catalogue of recommendations on the management of Asbestos in plans for joint developmental/political projects
View the documentPart Vl Literature
close this folderPart VII Annexes
View the documentAnnex 1: Maps on the deposits of Asbestos, Asbestos consumption and commercial trade of raw Asbestos
View the documentAnnex 2: Health and safety data sheet for Asbestos cement in UK
View the documentAnnex 3: Asbestos fiber emissions from particular processes
View the documentAnnex 4: US Federal Regulations for Asbestos
View the documentAnnex 5: Commercial names of Asbestos containing products
View the documentAnnex 6: Advantages and disadvantages of Asbestos abatement methods
View the documentAnnex 7: Asbestos data from the environmental handbook Vol. III: Compendium of environmental standards
View the documentAnnex 8: Questionnaire on country profiles regarding Asbestos


For decades, Asbestos was known as a versatile and readily available construction material that could be produced in a variety of forms and was suitable for numerous uses. Thus Asbestos was found - and is still found today - in the drinking water sector of many of the world's countries, in fire prevention elements, even in cooking stove covers in kitchens and in gardens as roofing material and flower pots.

Since certain Asbestos varieties are known to be carcinogenic, discussion continues on the efforts of removing construction elements containing Asbestos - the nature of the discussion ranging from making light of the whole matter to panic-driven activism. The costs of renovation and disposal of building segments containing Asbestos can be enormous, yet the negative effects on health depending on the manner of contact - are clearly proven!

The man in the street - but also experts who have not studied the problem specifically - are faced with a flood of information, which we have attempted to compile in this publication. Not only are the various forms of Asbestos presented - its common uses, identifying features, and negative impacts but also the regulations of various countries and implementing organizations concerning the substance.

In 1990, in view of the danger to human health, in the Federal Republic of Germany a decision forbidding the production or use of Asbestos came into force. Based on this decision, in January 1995 the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) applied the ban within international and bilateral development cooperation with the following provisions:

At the end of 1994, the complete prohibition of Asbestos manufacturing and use in Germany came into effect. Danger to human health arises mainly from the inhalation of fine Asbestos dust, particularly during the production and processing of Asbestos products.

The main areas of application in Development Cooperation are: low-cost-housing (sheets, insulation material, etc.) the water supply/wastewater area (Asbestos cement pipes), and many minor uses (gaskets, machine parts, etc.).

For the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development the following 'Asbestos Policy' applicable. It has been considered that transitional regulations were valid in Germany and thus should also be allowed for the developing countries.

In development projects, the use of Asbestos is prohibited as a matter of principle.

The prohibition is geared towards projects to be sponsored, in particular new projects, in which it is planned to use products containing Asbestos.

The following differentiation is necessary, based on the different health dangers: Asbestos use in housing construction is prohibited; for the water supply/wastewater area, the following rule applies: the use of Asbestos is prohibited as a matter of principle. Exceptions can be made in special cases (acceptability for low hazard potential and corresponding protection measures in cases of economic/social restraints). In suitable cases, assistance will be offered to the partner country for the financing of incremental costs for substitute materials in development projects. The use of Asbestos in exceptional cases within a suitable transitional period is only possible if it is deemed necessary and acceptable based on an extensive investigation (EIA).

The following individual or special regulations are valid:

· in the area of General Commodity Aid and Structural Adjustment Support, the negative list will be expanded to include Asbestos.

· in co-financing, the Asbestos prohibition applies only to the object under German financing (in the dialogue, a comprehensive solution should be urged).

We hope that this publication may serve not only as background information but will help you in making decisions in case you are confronted with the issue of Asbestos.

Brigitte Baumer