According to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), children and teachers, DIYers, and maintenance workers are part of a new group that is increasingly at risk from asbestos in buildings across Europe.
The total number of estimated asbestos-related deaths in Europe is 47,000 per year, which is double the number of deaths due to traffic accidents there, according to the committee.
Officials say that Member states and the European institutions need to take action now to head off this emerging public health crisis, and that national action plans need to be implemented. They add that the European Commission should prioritize its response to this major risk to public health across all policy areas.”
The committee has asked the European Commission to establish registers of buildings containing asbestos and to develop action plans for safe asbestos removal.