More Danes dying from asbestos exposure despite 1980s ban
Almost 30 years after the ban of asbestos in Denmark, more and more Danes are dying of mesothelioma, according to the magazine Fagbladet 3F, which is published by the union 3F.
Over 100,000 sqm of asbestos netting remains in place in Denmark, and 120-130 Danes are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year.
“There are more cases every year,” Johnni Hansen, a senior researcher at cancer fighting association Kræftens Bekæmpelse, told TV2 News. “Just ten years ago, there were fewer than 100 cases of mesothelioma per year.”
Still a risk
Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, which can develop over 20-60 years. Since 1943, it is estimated that over 4,000 Danes have died from the illness and over 300 Danes die from asbestos-related illnesses every year. That’s more than Denmark’s annual fatalities sustained in traffic and work accidents.
The asbestos roofs last for 40-60 years before they begin to crumble and need to be replaced. And while there are regulations for the handling of asbestos, there is a potential risk for people being exposed to a hazardous amount.
Hansen contends that the rise in mesothelioma cases is down to the large amounts of asbestos that was previously used at the Eternit (registered trademark for fibre cement) factory in Aalborg and various ship yards, and in the insulation of pipes and in brake linings of cars, trucks and trains.