Expert maps towns affected by asbestos
Professor Lütfi Çöplü, an Ankara-based specialist on chest diseases, examined dozens of academic studies initiated by some universities following the increased lung cancer cases in Turkey, especially in Central Anatolia and the country’s east, starting from the 1970s.
Evaluating these studies revealing that asbestos, which is known as a durable material and used in wall plaster and over the roof in some village houses, causes lung cancer, Çöplü made a map of the settlements where chemical-related cancer cases are seen.
According to the expert’s findings, nearly 100,000 people in 400 villages, mainly in Central Anatolia and eastern Turkey, were affected by asbestos.
The Central Anatolian provinces of Kütahya, Ankara, Çankırı, Yozgat, Çorum, Sivas and eastern provinces of Malatya, Diyarbakır and Elazığ stood out as the settlements where asbestos exposure was intense, the study noted.
“It is understood that a chemical type called ‘tremolite asbestos’ is at the forefront in the examination of the building blocks of villages in these areas,” Çöplü said.
Stating that asbestos deposits can be carried far away by wind and atmospheric conditions since these villages are in the open area, the academic said it is beneficial to plant trees around the mentioned villages.