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ORIGINAL PAPER
 
 

Asbestos in Poland: Occupational health problems

 
1
Department of Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
2
Department of Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, św. Teresy 8, 91-348, Łódź, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2011;24(2):142–152
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
The presentation addresses current problems of health risk and health effects associated with exposure to asbestos, including data on historical exposure and on currently valid occupational exposure limits. The quantity and types of the raw material used for the production of various asbestos products have also been discussed in relation to the particular types of asbestos-induced occupational diseases. The authors describe the medical care system for former asbestos workers and those currently exposed during removal of asbestos-containing products. The national system for medical certification of occupational asbestos-related diseases and the compensation procedure have been outlined as well. According to the parliamentary Act of 1997, importing, manufacture and sale of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials are prohibited in Poland. Thus, the assessment of asbestos exposure and the monitoring of health conditions of workers at asbestos-processing plants have become irrelevant. However, the delayed health effects attributable to past exposure continue to be the matter of concern for public health. Likewise, the environmental pollution from asbestos waste landfills in the vicinity of asbestos-processing plants (where high levels of asbestos fibre in ambient air have been recorded) will continue to be a serious public health problem. Presently, two programmes aimed at minimising the adverse effects of asbestos on population health are underway. One of them is the governmental programme for "Elimination of asbestos and asbestos-containing products used in Poland, 2002-2032". The programme was updated in 2009 to cover the workers contracted to perform demolition works and provide protective covers to asbestos waste landfills. This will be the exposed group who need prophylactic health care. The other is a programme of prophylactic examinations for former asbestos workers and is referred to as the AMIANTUS programme. Both programmes have been briefly described.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087