Spain brings forward white asbestos ban

The Spanish health ministry announced last week that production of white asbestos (chrysotile) is to banned from next June, and sales of products containing the mineral from 31 December 2002. The decision is in line with a 1999 EU directive prohibiting white asbestos and marks abandonment by Spain of a right to a three-year transitional period it won along with Italy and Greece. The derogation was given due to the importance of white asbestos to these countries' cement industries. The order covers new uses only and not asbestos removal. See press release.

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