3 years ago

History of Asbestos Ban in Hong Kong.

Chun-Kwan Wong, Sabrina Hei-Man Wan, Ignatius Tak-Sun Yu
As millions of immigrants moved to Hong Kong (HK) from China in the recent decades, large amount of residential housings were built in the early years and a substantial proportion of those buildings used asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Since the number of new cases of ARDs diagnosed has increased year by year since 1990's, the remarkable increase of incidences had drawn the attention of the public and most importantly the HK government. It became one of the trigger points leading to asbestos ban in HK history. Comparatively, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labor unions and patients' self-help organizations demonstrated a more aggressive and proactive attitude than the HK government and have played a key role in the development of asbestos banning policy in HK. After numerous petitions and meetings with the government representatives by those parties in the past decade, the HK government eventually changed its attitude and started to consider terminating the endless threat from asbestos by amending the policy, and the new clause of legislation for banning of all forms of asbestos was enacted on 4 April 2014. Other than the restriction of asbestos use, the compensation system about ARDs has also made some great moves by the effort of those parties as well. Based on the experience we learnt through the years, efforts from different stakeholders including patients' self-help organizations, NGOs, legislative councilors, and media power are absolutely essential to the success of progression and development in today's asbestos banning in HK.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111327

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph14111327

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