SEOUL, Sept. 1 (Korea Bizwire) – As Koreans’ concerns about the risks caused by asbestos increase, a local government in Korea plans to invest tens of billion of won in public funds to remove slate roofs full of the hazardous material.
On August 31, the North Gyeongsang Provincial Government announced that it would invest 90 billion won to remove slate roofs from some 30,000 houses by 2021. According to the plan, the local government will pull down the slate roofs of 3,000 to 4,000 houses annually, offering 3.36 million won for each house.
Asbestos is a group of minerals that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibers that can be separated into thin, durable threads. These fibers are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals and do not conduct electricity. For these reasons, asbestos has been widely used in many industries.
Slate was commonly used for roofing in the past, and is full of asbestos due to its characteristics. However, it can cause various lung and skin related diseases such as asbestosis pulmonum and cancer. As it causes such deadly diseases, it is often called the silent bomb or silent killer.
To protect people from harm to their health by asbestos, Korea enacted an Asbestos Safety Management Act in 2013 to strictly regulate the use of the deadly material, and offer financial subsidies to remove the materials.
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)