International Conference on Monitoring and Surveillance of Asbestos-Related Diseases 11.–13.2.2014 Hanasaari Cultural Center, Espoo, Finland

Globally, asbestos-induced diseases cause 100 000 deaths annually; in Finland the figure is 100. New use of asbestos is banned in the majority of developed countries, including Finland. However, it is still in general use in many developing countries.  In the countries in which asbestos is used, morbidity is increasing. The International Conference on Monitoring and Surveillance of Asbestos-Related Diseasesrecommends that asbestos should be banned throughout the world.

”There is no safe use of asbestos”, reminds Panu Oksa, Chief Physician from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH).

The only way in which exposure may occur in Finland today is if asbestos removal work is not carried out properly when old buildings are renovated. Asbestos removal work is subject to licence, and can only be performed by people who have undergone special training. If removal work is carried out correctly, the risk of exposure is minor.

”Isolated cases of asbestos-induced diseases show that unfortunately the insidiousness of asbestos is still not completely understood even in Finland. In order to avoid exposure, protection and work instructions must be adhered to exactly,” Oksa stresses.

In Finland, 600 people are diagnosed with asbestos-induced diseases every year. Of these, 100–150 develop cancer. The most common asbestos-induced diseases are lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. The global prevalence of mesothelioma is growing at a rate of 5% per year. Read more

Courtesy: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health