Cancerogenic asbestos detected in one third of demolished buildings in Istanbul’s Kadıköy
ISTANBULOfficials have detected asbestos, which was banned in Turkey in 2011 for its cancerogenic effects, in one third of all demolished buildings in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district as part of an ongoing urban transformation, daily Milliyet reported on May 31.
The Kadıköy Municipality is reportedly the first municipality in Turkey that has taken action, requiring the demolishing contractors to dispose the asbestos and similar hazardous wastes. Since the regulation went into effect in 2015, the Kadıköy Municipality has not been handing demolition licenses to firms that have not obtained an “asbestos-free” report.
The demolition firms are first referred to the environment general directorate for protection and control, which conducts the necessary field check to see if all the hazardous materials have been disposed. In case of a detection of asbestos-filled materials, such materials are dismantled, after which they are discarded in line with international standards.
Accordingly, since the regulation went into effect one and half years ago, the Kadıköy Municipality has made it possible for 498.5 tons of asbestos to be disposed, after 1,517 building sites were inspected, in which 446 of them were determined to have the toxic material.
Asbestos, which was once considered an indispensable building material for its tensile strength, was later found to have detrimental effects on human health and the environment, forcing Turkey as well as many countries to prohibit its procurement and use.
In January, the Ankara Municipality’s initiation to dismantle a decades-old coal gas factory containing 350 tons of asbestos, without taking the necessary precautions, had prompted a major debate, as chambers applied to the court in order for it to stop, citing health concerns.
The Ankara7th Administrative Court on March 1 ordered a stop to the dismantling process, which it said could “cause harm that is impossible or hard to repair.”
Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek vowed that the municipality will appeal against the decision, adding that “if the appeal isn’t accepted, the architects can come and dismantle it however they want.”