Background and history:
Italy was the main asbestos producer and one of the greatest consumers in 20th century Europe until the asbestos ban was introduced in 1992. Asbestos exposure affected the population in a wide range of working environments, namely mining and marketing of asbestos, asbestos cement production, shipyards and textile industries. This also determined a widespread environmental asbestos exposure affecting the surrounding communities. Methods:
To investigate the drivers and difficulties of the process leading to the asbestos ban and its subsequent implementation, we focused on stakeholder involvement, environmental health policies, capacity building and communication. Results:
In the past three decades, stakeholder involvement has been instrumental in advancing the industrial asbestos replacement process, prevention and remediation interventions. Furthermore, involvement also contributed to the integration of environmental and health policies at national, regional and local levels, including capacity building and communication. In a global public health perspective, international scientific cooperation has been established with countries using and producing asbestos. Discussion and Conclusions:
Key factors and lessons learnt in Italy from both successful and ineffective asbestos policies are described to support the relevant stakeholders in countries still using asbestos contributing to the termination of its use.
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