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Review Finds 63 Cases of Major Asbestos Violations

The Japanese government has found 63 cases of demolition or repair work on properties containing asbestos that had major violations of the Air Pollution Control Law.

40 of the citations involved companies failing to prevent asbestos from being released into the surrounding environment. Tests on seven of those sites showed asbestos had been released.

The Air Pollution Control Law requires that companies notify local governments when they are working on sites containing asbestos. They are required to maintain sites to prevent asbestos from being released and can be spot checked at any time by government officials.

The problem was that in the majority of cases, local governments were not informed of work on those sites. In 16 of the cases, companies failed to provide any protection against asbestos to employees or anyone else and the majority of cases investigated by the government were done following complaints by workers or residents.

Government officials agree that a better system of surveillance is needed but they point out that asbestos was prohibited from use just two years ago.