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Asbestos is now banned in 52 countries. Although Italy banned asbestos in 1992, up until that date it had been one of the main producer nations of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials, and asbestos-related contamination is still widespread in the country. To reduce asbestos-related health effects, Italy has adopted many laws and regulations regarding exposure thresholds and remediation tools. Even so, there are legislative gaps that are making it difficult to manage related risks especially in the operative phase. The lack of standard procedures at a national level regarding emergency shutdown and remediation as well as reference thresholds for specific risk situations creates difficulties and different actions when dealing with the cleanup of Italian asbestos superfund sites. The authors propose operative guidelines for asbestos remediation at Italian superfund sites. INAIL, the reference national organization for asbestos-related matters, acting as an advisor to a number of state, regional, and local authorities, examined the main asbestos-related risk situations in Italy and proposed the most appropriate actions to take. The detailed analysis of many actual cases of risk, in part through inspections and the management of cleanup actions at asbestos Italian superfund sites, resulted in proposals to modify existing procedures and thresholds, which were subsequently discussed with all national, regional, and local scientific bodies. After more than two years of work and discussion at a national level, INAIL-DIPIA-Asbestos Group drafted new Guidelines for Asbestos Remediation at Italian Superfund sites, and officially submitted them to the Environment Ministry. The Ministry then adopted the document in regard to all asbestos Italian superfunds. This recently released document is also a useful reference for contaminated sites at a regional and local level. The operative Guidelines for Asbestos Remediation at Italian Superfund sites may also be of use at an international level for countries that have already banned asbestos and are engaged in remediation activity and for countries that have not yet banned asbestos but wish to adopt risk prevention measures.


F Paglietti, S Malinconico, V Di Molfetta, M Giangrasso. Guidelines for asbestos remediation at Italian superfund sites. Journal of environmental science and health. Part C, Environmental carcinogenesis & ecotoxicology reviews. 2012;30(3):253-86

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PMID: 22970721

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