The European Asbestos Forum aims to improve professional networks and the exchange of knowledge regarding all matters relating to asbestos. The first forum is due to take place on 27th May 2015 at the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam.
Theobjective of the event is to provide an interesting environment to discuss the challenges facing us in raising awareness about the dangers of asbestos in the workplace, how to manage these and how to prevent future victims of asbestos disease. There will be approximately 20 internationally renowned speakers and representatives from asbestos removal firms, employers, unions, governments, researchers, medical experts and victims groups from all over Europe and beyond.
The main theme for 2015 will be labour and, in particular, removal of asbestos, best practices, raising awareness in the workplace, national and European policy, enforcement of regulations, comparing regulations, asbestos stories and recent major legal cases. The forum will also consider the newest medical and epidemiological insights.
One of the keynote speakers will be Dr. Richard Lemen USPHS (ret.) Ph.D., M.S.P.H. He is a retired Assistant Surgeon from the US. He plans to discuss high risk occupations and the need for prevention of exposureto asbestos and prevention of asbestos disease. As we have highlighted at Asbestos Justice on many occasions, certain occupations still face a real danger at work as a result of the legacy left behind by the widespread historical use of asbestos products. We have particularly featured the risks from asbestos exposure to electricians and plumbers.
Wayne Williams, a Director of Independent Asbestos Training Providers and owner of DMW Environmental Safety, will talk about the ongoing issue of asbestos in schools. His role is concentrated in the field of health and safety and asbestos management to UKAS standards. He is also an examiner for the British Institute of Occupational Hygiene for asbestos competency qualifications. Asbestos Justice has told of many occasions when asbestos in schools has caused a problem. This often occurs during repairs or renovations.
Only earlier this month was there a further example reported in the national press of the huge problem asbestos in our schools still poses. Parts of a school in Worcestershire, Droitwich Spa High School, were closed after asbestos was detected by surveyors working on new windows in the main classroom block. The said parts of the school will remain closed while tests are carried out. The Chair of Governors Rod Rhodes said, “Our most important responsibility is to ensure the safety of students, teachers and support staff who work in our buildings.”
The forum will continue with Barry Robson, the President of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation in Australia, discussing the importance of asbestos awareness. There is still a real presence of ignorance among many about what asbestos is, how to recognise it and the risks it poses.
Asbestos and the distorted risk perception will be discussed by Linda Reinstein, the President of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organisation or ADAO. Linda started her organisation after her husband was diagnosed with asbestos related mesothelioma in 2003. Realising that asbestos disease kills many people every year, she became a public health advocate and is now a strong voice campaigning for asbestos related issues.
Professor Nico van Zandwijk, Director of the Asbestos Disease Research Institute (ADRI) and Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney will review the hopeful treatment of asbestos cancers. In 1985, he founded the Department of Thoracic Oncology a the Netherlands Cancer Institute and made significant contributions to the identification of prognostic factors in lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma, to chemoprevention studies in lung cancer and major national and international trials. He is a member of the National Lung Cancer Advisory Group of Cancer Australia and the National Asbestos Management Review Panel.
Further details about the forum and the speakers can be found on the website: http://www.europeanasbestosforum.org/