Asbestos site stirs unhappy memories ahead of MEP vote


Eric Jonckeere, who lost both parents and 2 brothers to asbestos-related diseases, visits Kapelle-op-den-Bos in Belgium, once the site of the 2 biggest asbestos factories in the world.

Mr Jonckeere's journey comes 1 month before the European Parliament votes on measures to clean hotspots and address compensation issues for the many affected by asbestos before and since its Europe-wide ban 10 years ago.

"The polluter must become the payer, since the courts have now proved that they knew and didn't take proper precautions," Mr Jonckeere says. "It's not about creating panic. But people need to know that in [certain buildings] there is asbestos. When works are done, we must supply protection."

MEPs are pushing for legislation in addition to steps taken in the last 2 decades to eradicate asbestos. They also want to stop the export of the problem by European companies which continue to manufacture asbestos-containing products abroad.

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