Asbestos found on car wandering across Istanbul
Many harmful substances, including asbestos fibers that cause lung cancer, were detected in samples taken from a vehicle wandering around the streets of Istanbul, daily Milliyet reported on May 10.
According to a survey conducted by the Associations of Experts on Asbestos Disassembly (ASUD), a car belonging to an asbestos expert was cleaned from top to bottom on April 28.
After getting the car cleaned, the expert drove the car from the western side of the metropolis to the eastern side, following the route of Beylikdüzü-Eyüpsultan-Pendik, and finally parked the car in the Çekmeköy district on the Asian side of the province.
The car stayed in the parking place for a week, and then, on May 5, samples taken from different parts of the car with stickers were brought to a lab and analyzed with a scanning electron microscope.
Some harmful substances, such as pollens, ustilaginales, silicate sands, lime dust and asbestos fibers, were detected and photographed by the electron microscope.
“We will conduct this research in all the districts of the metropolis,” Şeyhmus Ensari, the head of ADUS, told daily Milliyet.
“If the asbestos fibers settled on one car, I leave it up to you to think about the rest of the province,” he added.
Reminding that the urban renewal works in Istanbul continue with full speed in the districts of Gaziosmanpaşa, Esenyurt and Bakırköy, he highlighted, “Even when the car was not driven in these districts in the first research, we still found harmful substances on the car.”
When asked which districts of the metropolis are good at inspecting and dismantling asbestos, Ensari said, “Only seven out of the 39 districts of the province give importance to this.”
He listed the names of the seven districts: Şişli, Beşiktaş, Bağcılar, Kağıthane, Ataşehir, Kadıköy and Maltepe.
Unfortunately, the asbestos controls in the rest of the districts have been done only “on paper,” Ensari remarked.
Kenan Yıldız was the asbestos expert whose car was used in the survey.
“These substances may cause serious problems on human health,” Yıldız said.
The cost of an asbestos report is only 1,500 Turkish Liras ($182). But the expert thinks the same as Ensari, saying that the districts, apart from the seven, make the asbestos monitoring “only on paper.”
“They say that they detect a maximum of 1.5 tons of asbestos a year. This number is impossible,” he underlined.
“Asbestos is one of the most hazardous minerals,” İbrahim Akkurt, a pulmonologist, told the daily.
“The amount of the asbestos in the old buildings demolished amid the urban renewal increases the risk of lung cancer,” he added.
When asked how he felt about the results of the ASUD survey, he said: “Completely worrying. By inhaling, these substances enter the lungs of babies and children.”