Israel Begins Large Asbestos Removal Campaign

Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection has approved financial assistance in the sum of one million shekels to local authorities for the removal of asbestos-cement roofs from public buildings, reports a press release issued by the agency. The approval of funds follows public outcry earlier this year about the amount of hazardous asbestos that remains in some of the country’s older facilities, including numerous schools.

“The ministry approved the requests of 17 local authorities for the removal of asbestos-cement roofs from 96 public buildings throughout the country, spanning a total area of some 38,000 square meters,” reports the agency.

The agency also notes that preference has been given to all educational institutions and any other public facilities that welcome large numbers of visitors on a regular basis.

Ministry officials will see to it that all asbestos abatement follows the country’s Safety at Work Regulations (Industrial Hygiene and Public Health for Workers and the Public Exposed to Hazardous Dust), which states that asbestos can only be removed by a professional contractor equipped with a permit for asbestos work, which must be granted by the technical committee for hazardous dust. The permit is granted following compliance with the criteria published by the committee.

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