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EU: Asbestos

Volume 709: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether asbestos cement roofing material, in use throughout the United Kingdom, is also regarded as a hazardous waste under European Union rules in Germany, France, Spain and Italy. [HL1918]

Asbestos is classified as a hazardous waste in the European Waste Catalogue (EWC), which applies throughout the European Union.

Although member states may decide to classify as non-hazardous any of the hazardous wastes listed in the EWC, they can only do this where they consider that the waste does not display any of the hazardous properties listed in Annex III to the Hazardous Waste Directive (91/689/EEC). They must notify the European Commission of such proposed changes, and other member states would then be consulted about whether such a change should be made to the EWC.

We are not aware that any member state has proposed that asbestos should not be classified as hazardous on the EWC.