Tanzanians, (but also Kenyans, Ugandas and many others in East Africa) risks acquiring cancer asbestosis, a lung disease resulting from being exposed to building materials that have been coated by asbestos substances.
Beware of building materials & other material that is coated or contain asbestos
It is also considered among the deadliest and cruelest corporate cover-ups in American history is the decades-long effort by the asbestos industry to conceal what it knew about the health impacts of the “magical mineral.” Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States have died from asbestos exposure, and thousands continue to die every year. Not just the USA is hit, Europe, and other plces in the world is hit as well.
Such building materials in the country are those used before the year 2000 and include residential, factories, offices, schools, hospitals, among others causing around more than 5000 deaths globally every year.
The Tanzanian Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Stephen Kebwe told the parliament here yesterday that though asbestos use has been banned in the world, most old buildings in the country might contain the substances.
Kebwe said such substance is in common building materials that people may come across during their work and the disease may develop after heavy exposure to the substance over a longer period that can later cause progressive short breath, and the case can be fatal.
He said the asbestos substance normally is inhaled when materials containing one is disturbed or damaged making its fibres to be released into the air.
“This type of cancer will not affect you immediately; it often takes time to develop, but once diagnosed, it becomes difficult to treat, he said adding that the effects can only be realised after ten or thirty years of infection”.
Kebwe was responding to a question by the Koani MP, Amina Clement (CCM) who demanded the government statement on the use of iron sheets made from asbestos, which may lead to incurable cancer disease.
Amina enquired from the government to state when it would destroy all buildings built with materials that are coated with asbestos especially houses belonging to police officers.
However the deputy minister said the government would soon conduct evaluation to identify the extent of iron sheets that contain asbestos and direct international companies with the required equipment to destroy the substance.
It is however not just building material but many other things that contains asbestos, such ad clutch pads, break pads, material in ships and more.
The problem is that its is very expensive to remove and workers have to wear protective breathing gear.
In Bangladesh thousands gets infected and died when they cut up scrap ships on beaches in a dangerous job, In Europe clutch, break pads and alike have been banned for more that 20 years, but in other parts of the world they are still used and putting people at risk.