Introduction  
 
Food for thought ...
 
Our planet wasn’t meant to be burdened by all our chemical wastes and yet we have and mostly are ignoring the signals that our planet is sending us ... we carry the responsibility to treat this planet with due respect, after all “we are one planet” and perhaps the only planet with life on it.
 
There are a myriad of detrimental pollutants, from pesticides, destructive chemicals, atomic waste and then there is ASBESTOS. Asbestos comes from the Greek word meaning „not extinguishable”.
 

Why is asbestos dangerous ...
 
Asbestos is most lethal when it is broken or crumbled or disposed of. When it falls apart or is damaged, it causes the fibers to be released into the air, carried many miles by the wind and human beings can easily inhale the deadly fibers which get lodged in the lungs. Activities like sawing, scraping, sanding, or as a matter of fact any kind of handling asbestos creates a dreadful health hazard.
 

Due to the major health problems
asbestos causes, the use of asbestos and by-products with asbestos were banned in Europe by 1999 and the use of products containing asbestos. By 2005 all products and any kind of utilization of the products were absolutely prohibited, nevertheless the difficulty of removing contaminated asbestos has remained at a critical high level.
   
 
The ban on asbestos - Asbestos removal is a universal problem
     
Huge amounts of asbestos need to be recycled. The primary source of asbestos in the environment comes via the wear or breakdown of asbestos containing substances, especially from the by-products
of different industries, from the prevalent usage of asbestos laden cement pipes used for the water supply systems and for building materials.
 
 

The durability of
asbestos is calculated by fifty years until it requires replacement. Damaged roofs or wall panels are not allowed to be repaired and necessitate full replacement with non-asbestos materials. Due to this fact, the amounts to be de-polluted are steadily increasing. In Germany there are about 300 waste sites which have the capability to accept asbestos. The calculations made by a market research study  concerning the produced amount of asbestos which have been used in the construction sector has been calculated to be about 28 million/t. Asbestos contaminated materials are only allowed to be disposed of in designated landfills. Transport and disposing costs at the landfills range between €100 and €450/t, just for depositing the waste, not considering all the other costs.
Germany
   
 
The amount of asbestos to be removed in Europe:
 
Since the conversion plant Standard Energy guarantees the proper recycling of the asbestos contaminated material, the local authorities (Landesgesellschaft für Sonderabfallentsorgung) have to confirm that all asbestos contaminated material of that region must be recycled in the designated plant, which would be Standard Energy. Each country has its own rules and regulations. Different amounts of asbestos have been implemented. It is a dilemma that needs to be addressed. Some countries hardly have designated waste sites and the population is not aware of the dangers that asbestos brings. There are only landfills which specialize in accepting asbestos contaminated material and the lack of waste sites causes immense hindrance in disposing the waste without causing great environmental damage and huge financial burdens for all countries, for example
Italy, Netherlands, Poland and other countries.
 
 
  We need to respect the environment
   
  Due to the stupendous number of people who have been exposed
to asbestos and the high amount of deaths that asbestos has caused,
countries like Canada and the U.S. must also act upon it.

The population of most countries has become more aware of the
danger that lies behind the asbestos products. This entails eliminating  asbestos and freeing the environment and mankind from
contamination. Asbestos is still prevalent and has been used for
almost everything under the sun, because of the inexpensive features
that asbestos offers and the variety of applications.
   
 
Asbestos is defined by Webster as:
 
„Inextinguishable; grayish mineral; a silicate of calcium and magnesium, which occurs in long, threadlike fibers. It is incombustible and a  nonconductor of electricity, used as fireproofing material for buildings,  safes, for roofing and flooring material, for packing, steam joints and pistons.“
 
This actually means that asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral
fiber with high tensile strength. Asbestos fibers can be woven and
are resistant to many chemicals and to fire. Asbestos is a fibrous
form of mineral silicates belonging to the serpentine and amphibole groups of rock forming minerals. The widely used asbestos types are, for example:
 
Chrysotile (white asbestos) a product of serpentine rock, its fibers are curled, which isn’t the case in the other types.
Amosite (brown/or grey asbestos) with straight, brittle fibers, found in large quantities in South Africa.
Crocidolite (blue asbestos), a part of the amphibole group, mostly made of sodium iron magnesium silicate.
Actinolite derives out of metamorphic rocks (it is of hard fibers, less likely to be inhaled than the soft fibers) is the least exploited form of asbestos, utilized sometimes for jewelry.
Anthophyllite is really chains of crystals, created during the breakdown of the mineral talc. It can be in various colors, can be found in sealants and paints.
Then there are other forms of amphilbole asbestos which are tremolite (mostly white asbestos) used in talcum powder, as well as in home and garden products.
 
Asbestos has been used for centuries around the world. Due to the variety of positive attributes and its inexpensive application, it has been used during the last 100 years for a wide range of manufactured goods, fire retardant coatings, concrete, bricks, pipes and fireplace cement; heat, fire and acid resistant gaskets, pipe and ceiling insulation (mostly amosite), fireproof drywall, flooring, lawn furniture, roofing shingles, floor tiles, paper and cement products to provide heat insulation due to its fire resistance qualities; coatings and friction products such as for automobile clutches, brake and transmission parts. In the textile industry asbestos strands extracted from the rocks (mostly chrysotile, due to its flexibility) were woven and spun much like cotton or other fabrics. The list of where and in what asbestos has been used is incredibly extensive.
 
 
Just imagine … the future is in our hands
 
The Problem with Asbestos Waste - The amount that has been implemented
 
Alone in Germany between 1950 and 1999, almost six million tons of pure asbestos were used. The main product being asbestos concrete (called Eternit in Europe), which contains 13 – 16% pure asbestos, the remainder is concrete. When you multiply the lowest dilution factor of 1:5, you can calculate an amount of 28 million/t of asbestos cement.
 
In Germany there are about 300 waste sites which have the capability to accept asbestos. The calculations made by a market research study concerning the produced amount of asbestos which have been used in the construction sector has been calculated to be about 28 million/t. Asbestos contaminated materials are only allowed to be disposed of in designated landfills. Transport and disposing costs at the landfills range between €100 and €450/per ton, just for depositing the waste, not considering all the other costs.
 
Waste Management within Germany and Europe
All the asbestos waste must be disposed of in specially designated
waste sites or landfills, not a permanent solution. The EU is unwillingly tolerating this situation until a better solution is found and presented.
 
Standard Energy has found a solution.
The entire amount of asbestos contaminated building material in all EU countries amounts to over 50 million tons. A major problem with asbestos is that no method has been found to recycle the immense  amounts in an economical and reliable way. That is why the before mentioned waste disposal of asbestos is still tolerated, though there is a first time possibility to recycle asbestos contaminated waste through
Standard Energy technology.
 
The European Union’s directive 1999/77/EC, bans the placing of asbestos on the market and use of products containing asbestos with effect from 2005. The 2003/18/EC directive prohibits all activities in which workers are exposed to asbestos fibers in asbestos extraction or production/industrial processing of asbestos products, with effect from 2006. This of course makes it essential that contaminated waste needs to be recycled according Standard Energy standards.