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Cleaning Poland of asbestos. How much asbestos remains to be removed? Piotr Uściński, Deputy Minister of Development and Technology, provided new data [mapa]

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In Poland, 7 million tons of asbestos-containing products still need to be removed, said Deputy Minister of Development and Technology Piotr Uściński. Most of them are located in rural areas. As he pointed out, “the vast majority of users of asbestos-containing products plan to remove them only in 2032”. The Ministry of Development and Technology is working on a bill – which, according to the announcement of the deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Tourism, should contribute to increasing the rate of removal of such products.

Jarosław Sachajko from Kukiz’15 addressed the question to the Minister of Development and Technology regarding the removal of asbestos from the country. The MP pointed out that “asbestos is a substance with a proven carcinogenic effect, it also causes asbestosis and pleural diseases”. “According to the applicable regulations, subsidies from the state budget cover the dismantling and disposal of asbestos products, while residents have to pay for a new roof themselves, which often they do not have the money for,” wrote the parliamentarian.

Sachajko asked the Ministry of Agriculture, among others, what actions the ministry intends to take to speed up the removal of asbestos from the country.

Asbestos in Poland

Deputy Minister of Development and Technology Piotr Uściński reminded that the national “Programme for the removal of asbestos and asbestos-containing products used in Poland”, adopted in 2002 by the Council of Ministers, the implementation of which was planned for the years 2003-2032, was replaced in 2009 with the “Programme for the Cleaning of Countries from Asbestos for the years 2009-2032”.

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“As part of its study, in 2009, it was assumed that about 14.5 million tons of asbestos-containing products were used in the country, taking into account the estimates that about 1 million tons were removed in 2003-2008” – said Uściński.

In response to the inquiry, the deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Technology quoted data from the Asbestos Database for January 2023, which show that 8.5 million tonnes were inventoried, of which 1.5 million tonnes were disposed of in the years 2009-2022. “Therefore, 7 million tons of asbestos-containing products remain to be removed” – indicated the deputy minister, adding that “only thirteen communes in Poland have not entered data into the Asbestos Database, so it can be assumed that almost all products in the country have been inventoried”.

Piotr Uściński pointed out that the removal of asbestos-containing products depends on the will and capabilities of those who use these products. The response was accompanied by a map with the planned date of removal of asbestos-containing products by users of these products. The forecasts show that “the vast majority of users of asbestos-containing products plan to remove them only in 2032.” – pointed out the deputy minister.

Planned date of removal of asbestos-containing products by users of these products, by voivodeshipsSejm of the Republic of Poland

New law

Uściński said that the Ministry of Development and Technology is working on a draft act on asbestos-containing products. “The draft contains a number of provisions that should contribute to increasing the rate of removal of asbestos-containing products” – he assessed.

In addition, as he informed, “recognizing the need to increase support for people using asbestos-containing products who want to remove them, non-legislative activities have been started in parallel, starting cooperation with, among others, the Minister of Climate and Environment and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development”. The deputy minister reminded that, among other things, As part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development launched a co-financing program for the replacement of roof coverings made of asbestos-containing materials on farms. The program is implemented by the Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture.

Uściński pointed out that “it is in rural areas that the largest number of asbestos-containing products are at the disposal of natural persons”.

In addition, the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management has launched a “National program for financing the removal of asbestos-containing products”. “The current edition of the NFOŚiGW Program has been implemented since 2019 and will last until the end of 2023 with a budget of PLN 100 million, of which so far NFOŚiGW has made available to WFOŚiGW (Provincial Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management – ed.) over 44 PLN million. It is planned to continue the program in question, he announced.

The Deputy Minister of Development and Technology stressed that “Poland is the only country in the EU implementing a plan to remove asbestos-containing products.”

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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