Fundacentro Launches Booklets on Asbestos Removal

Asbestos is a mineral that has been widely used in construction and other industries, but it poses serious health risks to workers and the environment. To raise awareness and promote safe practices, Fundacentro, a Brazilian institution dedicated to occupational health and safety, has released two booklets on asbestos removal.

The first booklet, titled “Asbestos Removal: What You Need to Know – Working with Materials Containing Asbestos”, is the result of a cooperation project between Fundacentro and Italian experts. It provides information about the mineral, the types of products and materials that may contain asbestos, the main diseases related to asbestos exposure, the risks and prevention measures in construction sites, and the essential procedures to mitigate the adverse impacts of asbestos on human health and the environment.

The second booklet, titled “Hey, Is There Asbestos?”, is a didactic guide to help workers identify and deal with asbestos materials before undertaking a renovation or demolition. It explains the actions needed to assess and handle the material safely, as well as the importance of using adequate personal protective equipment, such as respiratory masks and coveralls, and following the environmental regulations.

Both booklets are available for free on the Fundacentro website, along with other resources on asbestos removal, such as a FAQ, a guide of good practices, and a podcast. Fundacentro is also involved in research and advocacy activities on asbestos removal, as part of its mission to protect workers, the general population, and the environment from the hazards of asbestos.

Asbestos is a global concern, as it is still used in some countries and remains present in many buildings and structures. According to the World Health Organization, more than 100,000 people die each year from asbestos-related diseases, such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Therefore, it is crucial to disseminate accurate and reliable information on asbestos removal, as well as to support the efforts to ban or restrict its use.

According to a study published in BMC Public Health, Brazil is one of the main asbestos-producing countries, and all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans. The study estimated the disease burden attributable to asbestos between 1990 and 2019 in major producing countries, including Brazil. The study found that tracheal, bronchus, and lung (TBL) cancer was the leading cause of death and disability-adjusted life years attributable to asbestos between 1990 and 2019 globally and in Brazil.

Another source,, reports that Brazil’s involvement with the production of chrysotile asbestos is thought to be a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the country, for men and women. The Brazilian National Cancer Institute reported 27,000 deaths in 2016 due to asbestos exposure.