4.5.1 General Overview
There is no mining of Asbestos in Israel, and therefore the country is dependent on imports. Currently, the allowable amount of all raw Asbestos types to be imported is 6000 t/a ( 1991). This raw Asbestos is primarily processed into Asbestos cement and Asbestos products. Several hundred people work in the Asbestos processing industry, which produces about 60,000 t/a of Asbestos cement products. The production is concentrated at a relatively large factory in Naharija as well as in several smaller plants in various parts of the country.
Aside from Asbestos cement, Asbestos containing paper products, insulation materials and tiles are also used in Israel Asbestos containing friction materials are not manufactured and are not permitted to be imported any longer. Asbestos textiles are also not in use.
In Israel there are regulations on the handling of Asbestos containing materials. For instance, there are requirements on the maximum permissible Asbestos imports annually. The import of Asbestos containing friction materials and the use of friable Asbestos is forbidden. For the handling of Asbestos and Asbestos containing products there are special regulations on occupational safety and hygiene, which are oriented along the lines of the international standards. For Asbestos processing, the fiber concentration at the workplace should not exceed the 8h average value of 0.4 fibers/ml (short-term exposure up to a maximum of 2 fibers/ml). Generally, the environmental ministry recommends entirely avoiding the use of Asbestos, however there are not corresponding legislative guidelines to this effect.
4.5.3 Research and Development
Currently in Israel several research projects in the area of occupational medicine are being performed, but there is little available information on them at present. In the past, however, some work on Asbestos problems in Israel has been published.
In the area of development of substitutes, no information on on-going research projects could be obtained. Due to the relatively high level of the material sciences at several universities in the country, it may be assumed that there is some activity in this area.
Basically, the use of substitutes for Asbestos containing materials is supported in Israel.
Israel has a relatively open economy without special import limits on substitutes. Due to international trade implications and the availability of well qualified employees, it may be assumed that in Israel similar substitutes are used as in industrialized countries.
The costs/benefit situation can be judged similar to that already discussed for industrialized countries.
4.5.5 Risk Philosophy
The governing risk philosophy in Israel is largely the same as the corresponding standpoints of western industrial nations. Since Israeli scientists have a lively exchange of information with research groups of industrialized nations, it is generally guaranteed that the official risk philosophy of western standards are considered. Due to the social and cultural differences, however, it may be assumed that an identical risk philosophy or corresponding consciousness of the problem is not present among all groups of the population.
[Ukrainian] [English] [Russian]