Gov’t prohibits importation of asbestos

Macau (MNA) – The Macau SAR Government has prohibited the importation and transit of asbestos, a harmful natural mineral, a dispatch in the Official Gazette announced on Monday.

The order approved by the Chief Executive (CE) Fernando Chui Sai On will be enforced tomorrow, April 9.

According to the dispatch, the order is issued ‘to ensure the environmental quality and health of the population, taking into account reasons of public interest.’

Asbestos can be disintegrated into extremely tiny fibres and float in the air for a long period of time. Its inhalation can cause serious diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, to name a few.

Exemptions from the prohibition published today include goods destined for use in laboratory research and those compying with reference standards indicated in the order.

Last year, the Macau Anglican College in Taipa complained about works for the removal of asbestos being carried out in a roof of industrial facilities located opposite the school building.

The school had closed for two days since parents raised concerns about air quality and environmental safety ensuing from the removal, with the Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) claiming that no abnormalities were detected in the air after testing.