Asbestos in Dubai

Asbestos in DubaiAsbestos is either partially or completely banned in 60 countries; Dubai and the UAE prohibited its use starting from 2006, which means the safe removal of the material will remain an issue for years, so asbestos remains a potential.
The substance is a known cause of mesothelioma, asbestosi, cancer and other diseases; its fibres spread through the air when old buildings are demolished, not in a proper way.
It has been estimated that between 70 and 80 percent of homes in Dubai contain some asbestos (source: Khaleej Times).
Experts are calling for safety regulations in Abu Dhabi to be expanded to the rest of the country.

New health and safety guidelines in Abu Dhabi require a company must provide documents showing that asbestos has been identified and safely removed from a building before it can be demolished, but asbestos water-pipes are still being manufactured and used in Dubai.

The assessment and removal can be carried out only by licensed companies, since the removal is very critical operation to be issued: while it is safe if undisturbed, the asbestos is extremely friable and can release tiny fibres (responsible for mesothelioma and other almost always fatal diseases) if it wears or breaks down. These particles are easily airborne and so small that, if inhaled, they penetrate deep into the lungs.

The municipality has just approved 36 contracting companies to work on demolition projects: since October 2011, it has handed out 54 demolition permits, but there are about 300 buildings scheduled for demolition in Abu Dhabi between 2012 and 2013. But in the meanwhile, there are still companies doing things they should not do.

Asbestos can be a risk to construction workers and anyone in the vicinity of a demolition site, as well as anyone getting in touch also with the clothes of workers.

Implementation of the rules is still at the infancy stage. The regulations are not policed very well. If buildings are going to be demolished, who is checking for asbestos and which company is removing it, these checks are very important.
The problem is the enforcement side – there is no enforcement agency.
Engineer Abdulaziz Hussni Zarub, director of the health and safety and environment division of Abu Dhabi Municipality, said
the government agency needed two to three more months to roll out the new rules.

One thought on “Asbestos in Dubai

  • March 24, 2016 at 11:03 am
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    We are a company specialised in Asbestos Identification, Survey and Asbestos Removal. Our office is based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is not possible to differentiate between asbestos and non-asbestos with the naked and hence the experts need to be called in. Give us a call on +97126676638 or +971506414883 if you suspect asbestos to be present in your workplace.

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